There have been a number of factors which have contributed towards Crystal Palace’s wretched run of form in the 2016/17 season but the table attached below makes for particularly harrowing reading.
Whilst it’s proved extremely difficult to pinpoint exactly where things have gone so badly wrong for the Eagles since the final few days of 2016, statistical analysis such as that attached above goes a long way to uncovering the problems we face in our battle against the drop.
Soaking up pressure before hitting teams with a rapid counter-attack used to be a hallmark of Palace’s play each week but with the arrival of Alan Pardew in the Selhurst Park dugout, talk of “lifting the handbrake” and “trying something a little different” have muddied the waters of our natural on-field identity.
I am personally convinced that the enforced and unwelcomed alterations to our tactical approach have led to a dramatic dip in our ability to defend as a team; backed up by our lowly place in the league table attached at the top of the page.
Sam Allardyce has spoken regularly about “respecting a point” since taking up the the reins in SE25; a part of the game which our players have proven themselves either reluctant or unable to do on numerous occasions since August. It’s an age-old mantra but if you keep 38 clean sheets in a season, you won’t face the ignominy of relegation by the time the final ball has been kicked.
We as supporters have been well aware of the need for a shift in the quality of our defending for months, the aforementioned table simply puts our fears into the form of black and white proof that something needs to change.