Yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Sheffield United has left everyone associated with Crystal Palace feeling rather glum. With next to no attacking intent or fight in the side throughout the second half things are looking bleak; a feeling which isn’t helped when analysing manager Roy Hodgson’s assessment of things.
Speaking to the press ahead of our trip to Bramall Lane, the gaffer gave his opinion on both Luka Milivojevic’s new contract in SE25 and our transfer business (or lack of) across the summer window. Everyone who’s paid close attention to Roy over the course of his Palace tenure will know that he’s not one to throw his toys out of the pram but when he is on record saying that he and the club feel a “sense of disappointment and failure” over our dealings during the summer, you know things aren’t particularly rosy behind the scenes.
In a sense we are lucky, as Hodgson is not a man to abandon ship when waters get choppy but as I said a week or so ago, this season has the feel of one in which he’ll have woven some magic if we are to stay afloat. It’s easy to say that our squad is good enough on paper to survive but with no replacement for the departing Aaron Wan-Bissaka, no cover at left-back, no true reinforcements on either wing and no new face at the head of the side with Alexander Sørloth leaving us for a move across the continent, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see the boss speaking with such concern.
He may well find a winning formula and keep our heads above the Premier League drop zone for another year but when you examine the depth we now have, it’s only really in the centre of midfield that we look stronger than we did last term. I’m trying to remain positive, I always will; but given the manner of our defeat against Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United yesterday afternoon, it’s proving incredibly difficult to identify any true crumbs of comfort.