Nothing seems to be going right for Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace, does it?
After a bitterly disappointing elimination in the FA Cup quarter-finals, the road ahead looks treacherous WITHOUT Wilfried Zaha also getting injured prior to the Watford encounter. Though the Eagles have finally ended the embarrassing record of not winning without their talisman, any potential lay-off for the former Manchester United man is hugely unwelcome.
While there is no real time-span for Zaha’s return, Palace are reportedly (as per the Evening Standard) under pressure from the Ivory Coast to allow him to participate in their upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifiers. Indeed, allowing that to happen will risk further damaging the winger’s hamstring problems, a scary prospect indeed. His presence was already badly missed against Watford, who didn’t allow Palace to create anything at all apart from the goal and, without him, Hodgson’s men look bereft of attacking ideas.
There was – and will be – a lack of incisiveness going forward and creativity which the skilfull winger brings to the table. So, with games against Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur coming up, Roy Hodgson will definitely miss his ace in the attack. Perhaps many will say Palace are safe by now but this truly threatens to sour the rest of the campaign. Indeed, the 70-year-old manager already invoked the ire of supporters for some of the negative football he’s deployed of late, so you can see the conundrum.
He needs to tap into his talent pool at Palace and pick out something special in the difficult road ahead. If the Eagles are to gain points in the difficult fixtures ahead, they need to be at their very best. This involves playing vibrant attacking football, showing fearlessness and maintaining a strong defensive hold.
Mathematically, Crystal Palace still needs seven or more points to avoid relegation. Without Zaha, picking up points against in-form oppositions will be difficult. Hodgson needs to use his experience to get the Eagles flying high again in order to win back the fans’ trust and save his job.
If he doesn’t and Palace have a nightmare end to the season, Steve Parish might have to look for a new boss.
Palace fans, do you think the club can cope without Zaha in the coming weeks? Join the discussion by commenting below.
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