Last season was pretty much a wash for crystal Palace as they finished in 14th place with 41 points in the Premier League. The only real silver lining is that they were only 6 points away from finishing 8th in the congested middle area of the table.
As with every mid-table team, Crystal Palace will have a primary goal of turning it up a notch and sneaking into a spot in European competition and, coincidentally, the financial promise land. In the most competitive league in the world, however, you can’t exactly become champions overnight (unless you are Leicester). Palace should see the 2017/18 season as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
The club has a terrific fan base, a player that can fill a stadium in Wilfried Zaha, and an ambitious new coach in Frank de Boer. While de Boer’s potential seems pretty high, he is still a controversial signing. He won four straight titles with Ajax before the likes of Memphis and Wijnaldum emerged at PSV to dominate the league.
He then went onto Inter Milan where he was unable to corral his talent pool and flopped massively. After a period without stability for Crystal Palace the past couple of seasons, fans will be hoping that de Boer and the club can complete each other and start building something new and exciting.
Sam Allardyce left Crystal Palace after remarkably steering them away from relegation in typical Allardyce-style. Next season will be decisive for De Boer, who’ll be expected to improve upon what Allardyce built at Palace and potentially build and create a different brand and style of football
The Transfer Window:
The market has been rather quiet at Selhurst Park, with only two departures and two arrivals. Steve Mandanda and Zeki Fryers leave the club, neither of which will crush the hopes and dreams of Palace fans. Ruben Loftus-Cheek will come in on a loan move from Chelsea and will hope to finally break out at the senior level.
Jairo Riedewald signed a permanent deal from de Boer’s former club Ajax. He was formerly one of the brightest teenagers in Europe, but lost his spot in Amsterdam when Peter Bosz purged many players from the starting 11 that were staples for de Boer. Riedewald comes in looking for a fresh start and to get his confidence back, but he is undeniably a talented defender.
All in all, Palace will have a lot of familiar faces in the team selection next season. Their only additions thus far have truly just been young players that they are gambling on. The team will have to look towards their chemistry and trusted experience to find their success this season.
Top half of the table is a good and realistic improvement that Crystal Palace can make in the 2017/18 campaign. Zaha can light up a game at any moment and will be a vital asset to provide for Palace’s dangerous group of strikers lead by Christian Benteke. The team has a limited but battle-tested midfield and the fullback positions, which are oh-so important in the Premier League, are deep and experienced in their own right.
If the new man Riedewald can bring some more quality into the defensive area this team could really be in business. As Eagles fans experienced last season, mid-table can be a tight and risky place to be. But if all goes to plan and de Boer has them firing on all cylinders, a top ten finish is a very attainable position that would be well deserved for the fans that bring out the passion at Selhurst Park.