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December 10 2018 4.24am

Tough times ahead for Palace fans

November 13 2018

Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson

Crystal Palace’s showing in the Premier League has been nothing short of disappointing so far after a run of defeats and a distinct lack of goals, writes Anthony Ghosh.

The defeat against Spurs this weekend simply underlined the fact that while the Palace players are dedicated, they are toothless up front. Under Roy Hodgson, a man who’s hard to dislike, progress has been steady enough, but it seems to have stalled in recent weeks.

The former England boss came in and cleared up the mess Frank de Boer was ultimately responsible for, made the Eagles tough to beat and kept the club in the Premier League last season. Objective complete.

Since then, though, he’s struggled to build on that progress. The team is looking flat and stale, with a huge, glaringly obvious over-reliance on Wilfried Zaha and a distinct lack of creativity and quality throughout the squad.

The club failed to secure any big named signings in the summer window to really get the fans excited this season, although some may argue Max Meyer was that addition. But he’s hardly featured and is not the creative midfielder Palace have desperately needed for a good few seasons now.

Their lack of firepower, alongside the poor defending at times this campaign, has led to concerns that a once steadied ship under Hodgson is now sinking again.

Perhaps questions will be asked of the club’s owners should this run of form continue as failed transfer dealings have ultimately led to the situation the Eagles now find themselves in.

That situation can only be described as a relegation fight, certainly judging by the start Crystal Palace have made overall. One thing’s for sure, should this run of form continue Roy Hodgson will be out of a job. He’s currently priced at 16/1 (skybet) to be sacked next in the Premier League. Stranger things have happened, and certainly at Palace!

Whether Hodgson’s in charge by January or not, the club need to make a statement by adding at least two game-changing additions, the type of signings the American investors have promised previously.

A striker will certainly be top of their shopping list, although keeping hold of Zaha is just as, if not more, important. The Palace ace is now just 1/2 (Ladbrokes) for a move to London rivals Chelsea in the New Year as the list of potential suitors seems to be growing by the week.

Should the Ivory Coast international depart the club, which is impossible to write off in the future, it’ll be a huge blow for Crystal Palace. But should that move materialise during the current season, then it’ll be even more devastating for a side who’s hopes of survival rest firmly on his shoulders.

Relegation could certainly be on the cards, and odds of that happening at 11/2 (bet365) represent fantastic value for a scenario that could certainly unfold in 2019, especially if you use one of the free sports bets on offer out there. Nobody wants that to happen, of course, but the threat is real.

If the Eagles manage to keep hold of Zaha in January, back Hodgson with an injection of talent in the window and beyond, and make a real statement of intent that the club are desperate to kick on in England’s top flight, then odds of a top half finish at 6/1 (bet365) represent superb value for a club that are more than capable of aiming for a consistent top half finish in the Premier League.

As things stand, though, the team is looking like relegation fodder, and these are concerning times for Palace fans. Time is on their side, though, and in Hodgson they have a manager who has proven himself on many occasions. Now, it’s over to the club’s hierarchy to do the same and deliver in the January transfer window.

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