Palace united under Pulis
Victory over Chelsea at Selhurst Park last weekend was the proof that Tony Pulis has completely turned around Crystal Palace’s fortunes.
April 4th, 2014
Following a desperately poor start to the season it appeared that relegation to the Championship was a foregone conclusion but now, with seven games remaining, the club have a great chance to cement their Premier League status and begin to build for the future.
One of the biggest reasons for Pulis’ appointment was his fantastic record of never being relegated as a manager. Having been a manager since 1992 it is an impressive record and one that would have leapt out when being considered for the vacancy. Throughout his tenure at Stoke City (the second time around) the club was a stable and comfortable member of the Premier League and at this stage is exactly what Palace should be targeting.
Since he arrived at Selhurst Park the club has stabilised. His methods have clearly been taken on by the players, and the results are now bearing fruit. Victory over Chelsea at the weekend not only dented the opposition’s title chances but also provided Palace with three vital points that seemed unlikely before the game started. Those points have now created a five-point buffer over Cardiff City who Palace face this Saturday.
The togetherness and organisation that was displayed throughout the 90 minutes on Saturday demonstrated exactly what Pulis is about. When he first arrived the defence was leaking goals all over the place and the club barely looked capable of coping with the demands of the Premier League. It is almost six months since he took over at Palace and he deserves praise for the way he has revitalised a seemingly doomed campaign.
He has no hidden secrets or methods; he simply believes in working hard and assembling a side that will perform for him on a weekly basis. The January transfer window certainly helped in adding some more quality but it is this summer that will see Pulis really make his mark on the team. He wants good players who are prepared to graft and give him their 100% commitment. His Stoke City side was not blessed with wonderful individuals but as a collective and cohesive group they established themselves as a solid Premier League team.
There is no doubt that his ambition matches the aims of Crystal Palace. Having emerged from the Championship last season after several years away from the top tier of English football they are desperate to remain there. It is of course not guaranteed that Palace will remain in the top division this season but the belief the players will have earned after their result against Chelsea should spur them onto secure survival and then look to build next season.
Even though he has enjoyed a successful career in management there is still a reluctance to give Pulis the credit he deserves. This season he has proved that he is a manager who belongs amongst the best and thus can only benefit the Eagles. Premier League safety was the aim at the beginning of the season, and thanks to Pulis and his squad there is now a good chance this can be achieved.