At this point last season, Crystal Palace had already broken a lot of records. Unfortunately, they were some of the worst in footballing history.
Palace were one of five teams in top-flight history to lose all seven of their opening matches, but that wasn’t enough for them. They became the first team in 129 years of the Football League to lose their first seven matches without scoring a goal, and were on the joint longest losing run in English football history.
However, Palace turned a corner this time last year, earning victory in their eighth game. The club had recently sacked manager Frank de Boer, and had replaced him with former England boss Roy Hodgson. The revolution was starting, and a victory against then champions Chelsea was just the beginning.
Fans must pinch themselves now to look where they finished come the end of the season, finishing eleventh. Although Palace have not had the greatest start to this season, fans must feel much more confident with this year’s outfit, and even if they are not, they are aware of what they are capable of.
But when looking at where Hodgson’s men were this time last year, it is not only a reminder to the south London club’s fans of how far they’ve come and their Herculean effort last season, but is a lesson to any strugglers in the league.
Cardiff and Newcastle currently sit at the foot of the Premier League table, joint on points. Both have made uninspiring starts to their season, particularly The Magpies. However, recent history has taught us that there is certainly no need to give up.
Newcastle have as talented a squad as Palace did last season, albeit they lack the magic of Wilfried Zaha. Nonetheless, this will be a constant reminder that not only can Newcastle claw themselves out of the relegation zone, but can actually finish the season in a respectable position.
Whether the same can be said about Cardiff is less clear. Not many are convinced that their squad is comparable to Newcastle’s or Palace’s last season. If they were able to manage a revival, it would probably eclipse Palace’s.
But history can teach us a lot of things, and for Newcastle and Cardiff there is proof that there have been teams that have looked much worse and survived.