Upon Crystal Palace’s appointment of Frank De Boer, it seemed the directors might have been striving to lead the side along a fresh path, with De Boer’s revolutionary style of play at Ajax deemed a noteworthy trait. Yet, with the side having started superiorly in season’s prior, Roy Hodgson succeeded the Dutchman; contrastingly to De Boer, he seems to prioritise ensuring his teams may be structurally solid. Having attained victory versus reigning champions Chelsea, it seems Hodgson may have thrived in the challenging circumstances, and whilst the win may signal an upturn in Palace’s fortunes, it may more poignantly suggest Hodgson may still possess the capabilities to succeed at the top level of English football, and thus the club may reap the dividends of prioritising the attainment of experience.
Prior to the fixture itself, it seemed both sides may have been facing a challenging predicament, with other teams, perhaps utilising Chelsea’s status as Premier League champions to their advantage, motivating them to perform at their peak capabilities and relishing their position as underdogs. Yet, their quest for the top four continued, whereas conversely for Palace, who concluded all of their fixtures on the receiving end of the score line, the necessity for a victory seemed to be intensifying. Wilfried Zaha’s return may have been decisive in this. As with the talisman’s technical prowess on his return to the side, key in creating chances, with his goal securing the win; this may also highlight the benefits of international football. As with Zaha having switched his allegiance to the Ivory Coast earlier this year, he may be aiming to perform consistently at his peak capabilities in order to be rewarded with international caps.
As such, Palace may have proven their ability to achieve versus a multitude of sides, and this may be the prime contributor in why they seem to attract a smorgasbord of proficient managers. Their status as a top tier side, coupled with runs to cup finals, may have been what originally enticed De Boer and, whilst Hodgson may currently be claiming the plaudits, the team he inherited at Selhurst Park may have predominantly occurred as a result of his predecessor’s transfer philosophies. With the managers’ both boasting expansive repertoires, the appeal of the EPL may be reiterated, as the most accomplished coaches in world football may be aiming to ply their trade in the league. With Marco Silva leaves the opportunity of Champions League football to ply his trade, originally, at Hull, this ideology seems to be supported, and thus foreign arrivals, coupled with homegrown managers, may continue to enhance the strength in depth in England.
Whilst Palace may naturally be superiorly impacted by the result, it may also have a profound influence on the rest of the Premier League, and potentially provide an insight into the intriguing nature of the competition. With four different clubs having claimed the trophy in the last five seasons, the league may boost the status of the most competitive in the world, with the aforementioned result perhaps reiterating this suggestion. This may therefore prove the reasoning behind why there has been an influx of monetary implementation, as with the enlarged television deals ultimately underpinning the goal to equal the playing field, creating more intriguing fixtures may solely serve to augment this ideology.
With 30 games remaining, there may be ample time for Palace, alongside their rivals, to utilise their experiences thus far productively, with some, often near the top of the league, replicating their performances, and others perhaps seeking to adapt their philosophies in order to achieve success. For Palace, both may be prioritised, with their records in previous seasons, perhaps motivating them to reconstruct their status, and Hodgson’s tactics perhaps at the forefront of realising this goal. Yet, whilst the result may warrant focus, Palace may be required to improve, and if they continue to perform in challenging circumstances, and unite under the common cause of retaining their Premier League status, they may consistently reap dividends, and with monetary incentives arriving, they may be able to improve their team, and elevate their standing further.