Crys­tal Palace

Ti­tle odds 2016-17 1,000-1

The Daily Telegraph - Total Football - - BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE -

Star man Scott Dann

The de­fender has led by ex­am­ple, de­fend­ing stoutly in the face of of­ten re­lent­less pres­sure and con­tribut­ing some cru­cial goals at the other end from set­pieces. Has de­served to be linked with an Eng­land call-up, and could yet get one next sea­son.

What went right?

At their best, Palace were one of the most ex­hil­a­rat­ing counter-at­tack­ing sides in the league. No team boast more nat­u­ral skill or ex­u­ber­ance on the flanks than Yan­nick Bo­lasie and Wil­fried Zaha, and record sign­ing Yo­han Cabaye fit­ted in well in cen­tral mid­field.

What went wrong?

2015 ended, and so did Palace’s form. There was no Plan B against sides pre­pared to sit deep and in­vite pres­sure, Alan Pardew lost his knack for mak­ing telling sub­sti­tu­tions and the gam­ble not to add sig­nif­i­cantly in the Jan­uary win­dow back­fired.

Lame duck

A few in the sec­ond half of the sea­son. Wayne Hen­nessey, Con­nor Wick­ham and Ja­son Pun­cheon had dis­ap­point­ing cam­paigns, and Em­manuel Ade­bayor looked like a man who had not played for months. Yet most dis­mal of all was Marouane Chamakh, who barely kicked a ball.

What’s the ver­dict on Alan Pardew?

Mixed. The cat­a­strophic run of re­sults in the league af­ter Christ­mas would have done for most man­agers, but the Cup run should save Pardew, who is still well backed by chair­man Steve Parish.

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