Crystal Palace won’t be sorry to see the back of 2016. They had the worst points-per-game record in England’s top four divisions over the course of this Premier League betting season 2016/17. Alan Pardew somehow managed to hang on to his job by the skin of his teeth. That mightn’t last much longer.
With the Eagles in a relegation battle, it might be best for Palace to part ways with a club legend. It would seem a great shame given how well things began for Pardew in his current reign. Palace were challenging for a European place in the first half of last season before collapsing into a heap. Their FA Cup run was Pardew’s saving grace and even that was ruined by the memory of his repulsively indignant dance celebration that proved premature.
Sam Allardyce is said to be hovering around the grounds of many of the teams caught up in this season’s relegation fight. The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future rolled into one spectre downing a pint of wine. At this stage, Pardew might be used to the pressure. Lord knows that Arsene Wenger must be. We’ve reached the ‘Wenger out’ stage of the season.
There will certainly be calls for the Frenchman’s head if he can’t pick up a New Year’s Day win against Palace. The Gunners were held in this fixture last season. Already nine points off Premier League leaders Chelsea, falling any further behind will be the final nail in the coffin of their title dream. Was that a bit bleak? Maybe we’ve been watching too much Arsenal Fan TV.
Arsenal predicted XI: Cech, Monreal, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Xhaka, Coquelin, Walcott, Sanchez, Ozil, Giroud
Crystal Palace predicted XI: Hennessey, Delaney, Dann, Kelly, Ward, Cabaye, Ledley, Puncheon, McArthur, Zaha, Benteke