Eaglesbeak -Pre-season 2013-2014
Palace surprised many teams with their good run of form under Pulis and won over plenty of opposition fans and neutrals with their result especially the win over Chelsea and the comeback draw against Liverpool. But those highlights on what was a fantastic season for the Eagles will be forgotten as the new season begins.
I expect Palace to struggle, it’s the cliched second season syndrome and although the team doesn’t appear to be any weaker it hasn’t improved enough for me, it’s difficult for Puncheon to replicate his goal threat this time round, they’ve earned more respect from the rest of the league so teams won’t be so open to the counter-attack.
I still fully expect the whole team to be well drilled defensively, difficult to break down and unlikely to get beaten heavily against any team, Speroni, Ward and Jedinak are key for me.
Campbell is an ok signing for a championship team, I don’t think he has enough goals to be a premier league striker but his work rate in terms of chasing and pressing from the front will make up for that shortfall in goals, but unlesss someone else can find the net regulary I do think Palace will struggle.
The Eagles picked up 8 points from 14 games against the big 7 teams last season, better than 5 of the other 13 sides competing against them It’d be reasonable to assume as mentioned earlier those bigger sides are unlikely to fall into the same trap again so Palace will need to do better against the teams around them if they want to surive and get a similar league position.
The Eagles picked up 37 points from 24 games against sides outside the big 7 last season. Which would probably be enough for surival this season as you’d expect the newly promoted teams and sides like West Brom and perhaps even Southampton now to struggle along with usual bottom half suspects like West Ham and Sunderland.
Fulham, Norwich, Cardiff were dreadful last season and with those gone are there enough teams worse than Palace this season. Yes probably, just about, but in my mind it’s going to be a close run thing, a key injury or disapointing home defeat to one of those new teams might just tip the balance away from the Londoners.
Looking at the squad listing it screams lack of goals to me, even though i think Murray is a good finisher I’d worry it won’t be enough. Chamakh and Campbell might add 4 or 5 each, but there is time to fix that though and a couple of shrewd loan signings or someone like Remy from QPR might suit Palace’s style of play if the club can stretch to get him in.
All the best for the season ahead and I genuinelly like having you around, so hope you stay up.