Premier League New-boys: A brief look at Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace were the third and final team to secure promotion to the Premier League this season, after a 1-0 extra-time in the Championship Play-off final.
Kevin Phillips scored from the penalty spot as Palace claimed a win against Watford at Wembley on Sunday.
After going into administration in 2010 following years of financial problems, the £120 million earned from promotion will provide a sizeable turnaround for the club’s fortunes.
Palace last played in the top flight eight years ago and were relegated for the fourth time after just one season.
Holloway’s side had looked set to compete for automatic promotion for much of this campaign, before a run-in featuring one win in their final 10 Championship games saw them stumble into the play-offs.
The Star Man
Now, I am no Npower Championship expert, however, I am aware that Wilfried Zaha has been Palace’s star man this campaign.
He has made 46 appearances this season for the Eagles, scoring 8 goals in the process.
His early season formed earned him a huge £16 million switch to Manchester United, and his performances since have seen him crowned Championship Player of the Year.
Zaha has been Palace’s key man throughout his side’s play-off campaign. Having scored twice versus Brighton in the semi-final second leg, he displayed his class yet again versus Watford.
The 20-year-old signed off his Eagles career with a tantalising display of pace, trickery and promise, although he will need to work on his end product at Manchester United.
Reportedly Holloway will consider asking Manchester United to loan Wilfried Zaha back to Palace again next season to help the club stay in the top flight.
It’s fair to say Holloway’s reputation precedes him. His witty press conferences and general banter won him many fans during his last Premier League spell with Blackpool.
Holloway has now managed in three of the last four Championship play-off finals, winning (2010) and losing (2012) with the Seasiders before the victory with Palace. In the missing year he was in charge of Blackpool in the top flight.
The Englishman clearly has a huge impact on any team he takes charge of, his current and past success as a manager simply emphasize this notion.
Palace’s squad is certainly not Premier League standard as of yet and the absence of Wilfried Zaha next season will prove to be a vital blow. However the spoils of promotion will have provided enough financial backing for Holloway to recruit some fresh faces in the summer window.
Whether or not they’ll avoid relegation is a tough one to call. However, when considering the ever increasing competitiveness at the bottom of the Premier League table, Palace are in for a very tough season.
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