Palace beginning to look upwards
It has been a tough season for Crystal Palace after returning to the Premier League.
February 19th, 2014
Since appointing Tony Pulis as manager back in November 2013 there has been a steady and consistent improvement which has seen the club picking up points on a regular basis. Now, just over two-thirds of the way through the season, the club is beginning to look upwards.
Adjusting to the Premier League can be unbelievably tough for newly-promoted sides. Following on from a season of success and good fortune in the Championship has proved to be extremely hard to replicate at a more advanced level and most new teams struggle to adapt. Confidence is a huge part of sport at the highest level and maintaining that belief and self-confidence in a struggling side can be very tough.
The former manager, Ian Holloway, had been brilliant in the Championship but struggled when bad results and form became the norm. It needed someone with more experience of the Premier League and also, possibly more importantly, who could give the players a new outlook and renewed confidence.
Following the arrival of Pulis the club’s fortunes have certainly picked up and most of the success has been based around a solid defensive structure. If, as a Premier League team, you make yourselves hard to beat then picking up points can become much more straightforward. In making Palace more resolute, it in turn then provided his attacking players with the chance to win games rather than merely contributing in defeat.
During the first half of the visit to the Emirates to play Arsenal two weeks ago the defensive unit was outstanding. Up against one of the best teams in the league Palace looked at ease, but unfortunately couldn’t hold out for what would have been an outstanding point. It is this organisation and drive that has made Pulis such a success in such a short space of time.
This season the Premier League has three quite clear sub-divisions within the table itself. There are seven teams who are competing to finish in the top four, two who are comfortably mid table and the remaining 11 all desperately fighting against the threat of relegation. Having been very much rooted to the bottom of the League during the opening few months of the season, Palace now currently lie in 15th and are only two points behind Swansea in tenth.
Having had a strong January transfer window too the club are now very much looking upwards rather than over their shoulder. There is now a feeling that this is Pulis’ squad and that now he can begin to build Palace into a consistent Premier League side.
The lower echelons of the Premier League are not a fun place to be and one that every member of the club wants to avoid being drawn into. The first two thirds of the season has seen the club fight its way up towards mid-table, and hopefully Pulis and his team can continue to rise.