After being fed to the lions and shown the door, it will be interesting to see how Crystal Palace fare this season after the swift decision to sack Tony Pulis.
Due to affairs occurring off the pitch, Pulis lost his job two days before the start of the 2014-2015 season kicked off. With a daunting tie against Arsenal looming over and lack of business in the transfer window proceeding, a breakdown between the backroom staff lead to the swift exit of the Welshman. Now a game into the season and the club find themselves manager-less.
Time to panic? Not necessarily. Steve Parish and his associates may be chasing his successor but they shouldn’t rush into decisions.
Pulis’ Palace achievements
When the former Stoke City manager took the reigns of the club he was given one simple task: keep the club in the Premier League. What he achieved in such a short space of time is incredible as the best result in the club’s history since the club finished 3rd and reached the FA Cup final. An 11th place is highly respectable after the club were joint-bottom in the first 12 games of the season recording one win.
Pulis was unsuccessful in bringing the attacking mind-set which lost him the job at Stoke; what he did bring to the club was the solidity, which the club had been craving. The 4-2-3-1 formation had made the team impossible to breach at times.
This was also helped by Mile Jedinak’s brilliant performances in midfield. Having dominated the midfield, his clearances and tackles made him one of the most influential players in the division last season.
With a tight budget, the 56-year-old had utilised the player’s added by Ian Holloway and also brought in Scott Dann, Joe Ledley and Wayne Hennessey. Many fans were looking forward to seeing how the PFA’s Manager of the Year’s team would fare this season. Pundits and fans across the world are debating whether the club will go back to its doomed state.
The side has been left in the hands of Keith Millen while the club looks for their new manager. This is the second time that the Londoner has taken charge of his hometown club but in a complete contrast to last season.
Millen will not be trusted with transfers in case the new manager wants to change the setup. The side fielded against Arsenal on Saturday was a lot stronger than at the start of last season that’s for sure.
What Pulis brought into the club was a bright start for the new campaign. Scott Dann completed his permanent move to the South London club and Brede Hangeland was acquired to bolster the side’s defences.
The main weakness for Palace last season was finding goals. The club will be hoping that the former Manchester United player Fraizer Campbell can ease the pressure at the other end of the pitch.
If the match against Arsenal was anything to go by, the club could finish in a similar position to last season. Against an Arsenal side predicted to be title-challengers and favourites among many respective bloggers, Palace took the lead against the Gunners, stunning the followers of the English game. However, the speedy counter-attacking failed to break the tika-tacka style of the home side.
With poor discipline and no answer to the revitalised FA Cup holders, Ramsey’s late goal helped to rain on the parade of Palace. Work is needed especially with the amount of players departing the club (13 leaving with 8 going out on loan). Whether the owners will delve deeper into their pockets for extra additions nobody knows.
In a press conference, Parish, co-chairman and leader of the consortium that bought the club in 2010, stated that big signings would come and join the club in the near future. If only the same could be said for a new manager.
So who will takeover the managerial position and what will his aim be? Odds on favourites are Malky Mackay and Tim Sherwood after their stints in the league last season. Both felt wronged to have lost their positions at Cardiff City and Tottenham respectively. With little experience in the top division, it can be questioned whether they will make such a difference to that of Pulis.
What the Welshmen brought to the club is foundations to become a solid Premier League Club. Survival will not be a problem for Palace if they stick to a similar ethos and keep their best players.
Although it won’t be the most attractive football, it can be enough to continue to challenge even the best teams in the division.
What do you think about the situation at Crystal Palace? Who do you think will take over Pulis? Let us know in the comments!