“Some people say ‘it’s tough at the top’,” one south London football club manager was fond of saying. “They should try things down at the bottom.”
Things are beginning to look very tough for Crystal Palace, after their 2-1 defeat to Watford at Selhurst Park leaves them with just a single league point so far in 2016 and on the worst run of results since Alan Pardew took over as manager.
Matches at West Brom and Sunderland, sides below Palace in the Premier League table, will need to yield at least four points for the Eagles in the next couple weeks to calm any thoughts of an end-of-season relegation battle.
A first goal in Palace colours for Emmanuel Adebayor was scant consolation after conceding a late goal to Troy Deeney denied the home side even a precious point, especially after a particularly poor first-half in which Deeney scored a contentiously awarded penalty.
And the red card for a bad tackle by Pape Souare will see the defender suspended for three matches, making more problems for Pardew, whose team’s poor form has seen them slip from fifth in the table and dreams of European football, to 13th.
Pardew took his share of the blame for the disappointing performance. “That was as poor and unbalanced a side as I can remember putting out for Palace, it just wasn’t happening for us,” Pardew said. “Too many long balls, it was a bit worrying if I’m honest.
“It’s been a difficult run. The boys’ reaction after half-time was about as good as I could hope for. We were a little bit unlucky to have lost this game.”
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