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September 23 2021 3.13pm

Does the coming season bode well for Palace?

July 27 2021

Selhurst Park (Photo: Andy Roberts)

Selhurst Park (Photo: Andy Roberts)

The announcement that Roy Hodgson would be departing Crystal Palace after four seasons of uninterrupted life in the Premier League must have left some fans slightly worried, writes Andy Leyland.

Clubs that make bad decisions often find themselves mired in trouble and a return to the Championship can give many chairmen sleepless nights. The wrong choice could set the club back years. Rivals Tottenham Hotspur have just spent months choosing a new manager and nobody is sure how that will go.

Yet at Palace, chairman Steve Parish appears to have acted quickly and competently on a lot of issues surrounding the club. While some may see successive 14th place finishes in the table as becoming stagnant, fans must remember the main priority of the club is to stay up.

The financial consequences otherwise could be disastrous. It is a credit to Hodgson as other clubs have suffered such fates. So can Palace fans look forward to the new season with a renewed sense of optimism? There are certainly reasons to push them towards and away from this feeling.

The arrival of a New Manager

Well, it's fair to say not many people would have seen this appointment coming as many were ahead of him in terms of preference. Fans and punters alike had not even been mentioning Patrick Vieira and online betting sites like live casino had him nowhere near the top of the list of favourites to become the next manager.

Time will tell how it all works out, as although he is a legendary ex-player and hard-hitting pundit on TV, his involvement with management has been a bit more chequered and short-lived than his playing career. As captain of Arsenal, he was a thorn in Palace's side for many years, but now they have welcomed him with open arms.

While an impressive spell at New York City FC earned him plaudits, his most recent appointment at French club Nice ended with him being sacked.

Some may see it as a risk hiring an unproven manager in the Premier League, but his style of play and certainly boosting the profile of Crystal Palace may yet prove to be a masterstroke by Parish. It may become a lot easier to attract established players to Selhurst Park, or indeed as Arsene Wenger did, sign skilful up and coming players like Patrick Vieira!

Presence of Exciting Players

Palace has already begun their summer spending with a deal already completed for Michael Olise. Vieira's influence on the transfer helped secure the promising Reading midfielder and having been voted Young Player of the Season in the EFL, the signs are good that Palace has got hold of a bargain at a fee believed to be around 8 million.

Other clubs were rumoured to be interested and seeing as Aston Villa had already paid 33 million for a Championship midfielder with similar statistics, this kid could be one of the stories of the season if it works out.

Another player who the fans have great hopes for, only arriving at the start of last season is Eberechi Eze. At only 23, he put in a solid campaign, appearing 34 times throughout the season.

With 4 goals and 6 assists, these numbers can only be expected to rise over the coming years as he becomes more familiar with the challenges of the Premier League. A fellow signing from the Championship, coming from QPR for 16 million , he and Olise could be the foundations the club are based around for the coming years.

Squad Issues

While the two aforementioned players bring smiles to the faces of Palace fans, other serious issues remain. Unbelievably, 11 players from the senior squad were allowed to leave this year on free transfers, leaving the club a bit bare on experience.

That may leave quite a bit of pressure on the younger players, which could see a sink or swim scenario developing and could trigger a battering in confidence. A good mixture of experience is essential and while several demo players have just signed professional contracts, they may not be ready to step up just yet.

Another constant saga affecting Palace is the persistent rumblings that Wilfried Zaha is trying to engineer a move away from the club. While undeniably the best player at Palace in recent years, at 28 he feels it may be time to move on to taste success at the highest levels or compete in Europe regularly to properly test his skills.

Online casinos have Borussia Dortmund or Monaco as possible destinations in the next club betting markets. While Everton is also mentioned, the chances of them playing in Europe are quite slim such is the tight nature of the Premier League these days.

Tough Start

While all games appear to be tricky these days and the Premier League seems a minefield, a good start could be exactly what Patrick Vieira and the club need. However, the fixture gods have not been kind to them and starting with Chelsea away, West Ham, Spurs and Liverpool appear with only newly-promoted side Brentford appearing to give any sort of respite in their first five games.

And as Brentford are playing in the Premier League for the first time, that may not be an easy game either. A home game against Brighton rounds off the first two months before facing a difficult October.

A poor run of results could instantly see Vieira becoming favourite to be sacked or odds on the club being relegated shortening. You can browse through all these markets at any reputable casino online.

Summary

It's fair to say Palace are popular with neutral fans with Zaha impressive. If he leaves, it would be a big blow but with Parish and Vieira at the helm together appearing to make wise decisions, the money may help buy new players or secure the future of the club.

Any solid investments that stave off the threat of relegation would be more than welcome. If he stays, then they are guaranteed goals as the likes of Christian Benteke have disappointed on that front. Clubs have shown how hard it is to escape the Championship once they go down, so hopefully, the same fate does not await Palace.

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