Are Crystal Palace Doomed?
It was already looking pretty bleak for Crystal Palace before the announcement came in midweek that boss Ian Holloway had left the club “by mutual consent.”
Now it seems there is no way back for the Eagles as they bid to cling on to their Premiership status after their against-the-odds promotion from the Championship last May. Coral go 1/8 they go straight back down again and 8/11 they finish bottom.
They are talking about Tony Pulis taking over and the former Stoke boss has never been relegated as a manager, but even Harry Houdini would have his work cut out escaping from this mess. Oh, and their next game? League leaders Arsenal on Saturday.
This is not like the normal resignation or sacking scenario when a change of face and personality might be all it takes to bring about a change of attitude and an improvement in fortunes. Holloway said that he was exhausted, but he added poignantly that, above all, he had lost the belief that this Crystal Palace side had what it takes to survive in the Premier League.
In a way, it was just bad luck that Pajtim Kasami and Steve Sidwell should choose such a vital game at Selhurst Park last Monday to unleash two of the best goals of the season so far to turn the game in Fulham’s favour. But there was plenty of time after the break for Palace to put things right; instead it got worse and in the end it might well have been even more embarrassing than the 1-4 scoreline.
Sunderland’s plight is even worse in terms of where they are right now (just one point from eight games) and there was no sign at all of an instant revival under new manager Gus Poyet when the team were hammered 4-0 at Swansea last Saturday.
You would imagine that things will get better under the new regime – they could hardly get worse – but right now Sunderland are in big trouble. Optimistic fans can get 6/5 with Coral they beat the drop, but for the moment they are 8/13 to be relegated.
At the top of the Premiership, four of the ‘Big Six’ won last weekend, the exceptions being Liverpool and Man United, who both drew.
Man City have firmed up as favourites for the title (7/4), but Spurs are still a tempting 14/1, despite getting back on track following their shock home defeat to West Ham with a 2-0 win at Aston Villa.
Everton and Southampton also kept up their good early work to the campaign and are beginning to be taken more seriously as each week goes by. The Toffees are 7/1 to finish in the top four (100/1 to win the title) after beating Hull 2-1, while the Saints are 40/1 to gain a Champions League spot after stunning Old Trafford with a late equaliser.