Welcome, a very merry TFFmas from all of us here at the blog. As we head into the holiday season, there is plenty to look forward to both on the pitch and off it and we are looking forward to the month ahead. This December we will be running the 25 Days of TFFmas, every day up until the big day we will be publishing Christmas wishlists from members of our team for what they would like their club to get for Christmas.
We’re into double figures now and the man to take us into that is TFF Writer Liam Byrne. He gave us his views on Crystal Palace and the changes he wants to be made at the club. Please note, this interview was conducted after Palace’s 5-4 loss to Swansea, so expect some fireworks.
Crystal Palace went into this season hoping to build off a successful relegation battle in the 2015/16 season, finishing a comfortable five points above the drop. This season, however, it looks more likely that, not only will they change their manager, they may also face the toughest relegation battle thus far. Considering the signings they made in the summer, most notably Christian Benteke and Steve Manadanda, Palace have struggled at the back, showing the not even the odd marquee signing can give quality to an already mediocre team.
Currently, they sit just above the drop zone have lost some key matches, such as the 5-4 loss to Swansea where they led twice, including coming back from 3-1 down. In other competitions, their fate has been just the same, going out in the second round of the EFL Cup, losing 2-0 to Southampton, the same team they beat 3-0 last weekend. The word inconsistency springs to mind. As one of the teams that opted out of entering an Under 23 team in the EFL Trophy, they may be annoyed that they threw away their only chance of silverware this season.
Although saying this, the FA Cup third round has been kind to them, drawing Bolton away. They’re board and fans will all be hoping last years finalists can go one better and bring the first piece of silverware to Selhurst Park since (and some of you may not count this as a trophy) the Championship Play-off Final in 2013.
Wish 1: A New Manager
“Pardew is the most clueless, self-involved man in football. He’s made us forget how to defend set pieces or even defend at all! I don’t care what his excuses are, he needs to be replaced. More than anything I want a new manager because it’ll motivate the squad and he’ll bring in new ideas and maybe some idea of how to defend.”
Some may argue Alan Pardew was a good appointment to replace Tony Pulis, however, the stats don’t lie and show he is arguably the worst appointment in the Premier League in the last two years. According to the BBC, out of the 92 professional club in England’s top four tiers, Crystal Palace have the worst points per game (PPG) ratio of them all with only 0.71 PPG.
Wish 2: A Left Back
“With Pape Souare injured for the majority of the season and arguably not being good enough anyway, it’s about time we got a natural left back playing there because Martin Kelly is a square peg in a round hole. Teams know that our left back is our biggest weakness and they target it every single week so until we strengthen that area, we will continue to concede. A team is only as good as their worst player.”
Wish 3: Wilfried Zaha to Stay
“If Zaha leaves we may as well start preparing for the Championship now. He’s by far our best player and we’re giving him no reason to want to stay at the club. Someone as talented as he is at the age of 23 is going to be one of the best players in the league over the coming years so if we want to develop and grow as a football club, we need Wilf to be the heartbeat of our team for a long time to come.”
Do you agree with this list?
Follow us on Twitter @OfficialTFF and while you’re at it, give Liam a follow @williambyrne01. You can also find us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thefootballforecast) and Instagram (thefootballforecast). Feel free to message us on any platform and let us know your thoughts!
Thank you to Liam Byrne for contributing today, we’ll see you tomorrow for another member and another wishlist!