There are many teams up and down the Premier League that will have the belief they can break into the European places over the course of the next few years. Usually it’s a slot reserved for the top six teams that we all know about, but as proven by Wolverhampton Wanderers this season, it’s not exactly impossible to push that extra mile or two and play European football. One team that we believe, hand on heart, that should be striving for that is Crystal Palace.
The Eagles have had a turbulent few years to say the least, to the point where they were once considered to be on the verge of liquidation. They’ve been able to pull themselves back from the brink, though, and they even managed to achieve a pretty impressive 12th place finish. With that in mind you’d think that they would want to push on to greater heights – and hopefully, that’s exactly what happens.
A brave appointment
Roy Hodgson is the man in charge right now, but it’s safe to say that he wasn’t the most popular of selections when he was hired. However, this past season we believe the Englishman has been able to prove himself worthy in more ways than one. We’re all well aware of what he was able to do for Fulham by guiding them to the Europa League final a few years back, and whilst that may be a bridge too far for him, why can’t Palace dream of qualifying for the competition?
Andros Townsend’s phenomenal effort against Manchester City earlier on in the campaign has now officially been named as the Goal of the Season for the Premier League, in a game that saw Palace actually come away from the Etihad with a shocking win. That theme of pulling off the unthinkable away from home continued, with Hodgson’s men picking up one of the best away records in the entire division.
If they were able to keep that kind of consistency at home, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to think they could’ve been challenging Wolves for that seventh place finish.
Play it smart
The most important thing for the club now in the summer transfer window is an investment. They’ve got a solid fanbase, they’re on the rise, and they play exciting football. It shouldn’t be all too difficult for them to lure some solid names to the club, and courtesy of Hodgson’s man management, they should be able to build a cohesive squad that is capable of doing some big things next season and beyond.
The bookmakers would lead you to believe that they’ll have another ‘okay’ season, but we think they’re truly a club that is being slept on in more ways than one. Watford, Wolves, Everton, Leicester and West Ham are often talked about as the teams most likely to break into that top six, but why can’t Palace consider themselves to be a viable threat too? They’ve got a great infrastructure, and it really does seem like they’re building something special.
If they arent, then they’d best wake up and realise what is in front of them.