Crystal Palace: We Need To Show That We Can Prosper Post-Pulis

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Crystal Palace: We Need To Show That We Can Prosper Post-Pulis

The away win at Goodison Park last year was possibly the watershed moment when Palace fans realised that we had arrived in the Premier League. It was not just that we had won away and definitely secured our future in the top division but that we had beaten a side that regularly finishes in the top six. It was the only away victory secured at a club in the top half and augured well for the future. But that was a delusion and it seems like an age away rather than a mere five months ago.

That was then but this is now.

The football landscape changes quicker than a Disney backdrop and all those fantastical dreams of becoming an established Premier League club have been blown into tiny smithereens. Warnock’s arrival has steadied a rocking ship but the storm is still raging around Pulis’ departure and the team have not shown any of the brio or confidence that characterised last season. Last week’s draw against Burnley felt like a desperate struggle between two bald men fighting over a comb with plenty of effort but ultimately a futile exercise.

Added to which, Everton look as though they have recovered their stride after a stuttering start with a comfortable win at West Brom and a slightly frightening demolition of Wolfsburg in Europe. This will be a severe test of our credentials and although it will not define the season it will be a damned good indicator of which way we are heading. We need to recover the élan and enthusiasm of last year if we are not to be sucked into a long and painful relegation struggle.

Warnock is a very quotable man and one of his most endearing quips at the pre-match press conference was “I like Beckenham… Richmond is too posh for me.” But we have had entertaining managers before in the Premier League, who did not cut the mustard so we need to see evidence that last year’s unity was more than just a Pulis product otherwise all the good work of the previous year is going to go up in smoke. It seems odd that one person can make such a huge difference and particularly at a club that prides itself in its togetherness. So starting at Everton, we need to show a strength and resilience that proves that post-Pulis Palace can prosper.

Richard Foster’s first book The A-Z of Football Hates is out now.

Follow him on @rcfoster and @AZFootballHates.

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