Recent weeks have seen Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace side slip worryingly close to the Premier League relegation zone, raising questions over why a squad that looks genuinely talented on paper has struggled to get results from week to week.
Whilst the Eagles have undoubtedly struggled from a defensive perspective, conceding 19 goals in the campaign to date, the above link highlights a potentially more worrying statistic for all of Selhurst Park’s regulars, given our run of form since the start of the calendar year.
In a division that seems to be gleefully reveling in the high-pressing football being implemented by Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, Palace’s lowly place on the list of the Premier League’s hardest working sides should come as something of an alarm bell for those who hold the most power in SE25.
Obviously, following Alan Pardew’s public declarations over a desire to change the team’s style of play away from that of a counter-attacking outfit to one who looks to control the general flow of possession there will be one or two bumps in the road but for a club who have so often prided ourselves on the work-rate of our players, this latest revelation is unlikely to sit too kindly.
Admittedly, Pardew’s desperation to produce a free-flowing and exciting team for us to watch is admirable but he must be careful to ensure that any measures put in place to alter our play don’t see the group lose the core characteristics which enabled them to establish the club as a respected top flight outfit in the first place.
When taking part in an extended interview with the BBC’s Gary Lineker recently, Pardew readily suggested that Palace’s old approach would halt any chance we had of becoming a long-standing resident in the top 10 of English football.
Perhaps he’s right but whatever way you spin things, the table referenced at the top of this page will only serve to provoke doubts over the long-term direction in which the team is heading under his stewardship.