Pulis instils belief
Whenever a new manager takes over at a football club they often instil a new hunger and desire to change things around. In most circumstances managerial appointments are only made when a side is struggling, and in Crystal Palace’s case this is exactly what had happened. With Tony Pulis now in charge atSelhurstParkthere is suddenly a feeling of excitement and hope.
December 16th, 2013
For a number of reasons, the former manager Ian Holloway seemed incapable of helping the club survive in the Premier League and thought it was time to leave it to someone who could. The appointment of Pulis was logical and exactly what the club needed. His experience at Stoke City and knowledge of the Premier League was exactly what was required by Palace at this stage of the season – and so far it has started incredibly well.
Even after the defeat atChelseaon Saturday there remains a confident mood around the club. With two victories in their three games since Pulis took over, going into the Chelsea game – and more importantly, two clean sheets – self-belief appears to be seeping back into the players. The form and goal scoring of Marouane Chamakh has been instrumental in the victories, and the Moroccan striker now finds himself on a run of three goals in four games.
Whilst ensuring that Palace are a difficult side to score against is one of Pulis’ first objectives, the goals scored at the other end are possibly more vital. Of all the sides that have struggled over the years in the Premier League, those with proven goal scorers have more often than not been the ones who have survived.
One of the key components on Pulis’ modus operandi of course will be the January transfer window. Whilst Palace endured a rather arduous summer window the club need to be proactive and shrewd in the winter market. January is generally not the best time to be looking for bargains as most teams do not want to sell, but Pulis will be keen to add some depth to his newly-inherited squad.
Having won his opening two games at Selhurst Park, the new manager will also be keen to ensure that their home form is good. With three winnable games at home in January to Hull, Norwich and Stoke the club will be looking to pull away from the relegation zone as quickly as they possibly can. Pulis always ensured that the Britannia Stadium was a tough place to go during his tenure at Stoke, and a repeat for Palace will be essential in their fight for survival this season.
Much of sport at the highest level is affected massively by confidence. It was clear to see that Palace’s players had little to no confidence until a few weeks ago and it is no coincidence that results have picked up since then. Pulis’ first task in his new job was to rebuild his players’ confidence and he already appears to be doing it. There is a long way to go this season but Palace are beginning to believe again.