• Sam Collins

11 PLAYERS AND A MANAGER OUT OF CONTRACT: WHAT NEXT FOR CRYSTAL PALACE?


Crystal Palace have not exactly been one of the standout performers in the league this season, it has been a difficult year.


Sitting in 12th position in the league, they have struggled to find consistency and have not impressed at all really.


Often, some teams that float around the middle of the league tend to be forgotten, and it is fair to say Palace fall under that radar.


In the opening game this season came Palace’s best result, a 3-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford, but since this it has been an uphill struggle.


They have suffered some heavy defeats, including a 7-0 hammering against Liverpool, and being swept aside 4-0 by both Chelsea and Manchester City.


With it being a mixed bag so far, Palace have just ten games to go in the league and do not look likely to achieve much at all.


If anything, they may be heading backwards.


Since his appointment back in 2017, Roy Hodgson has bought stability to this side, keeping them in the middle of the pack.


The manager is still undecided about his future beyond this year's campaign, but with the club in a tough position it would be surprising to see him relieved of his duties.


Palace currently have 11 players whose contracts are due to expire in the coming months.


This ranges from players such as Gary Cahill, Patrick Van Aanholt, Andros Townsend and Christian Benteke.


Hodgson has stated that there will be players who do not receive a new contract, and that there are no guarantees.


Clearly this could be an important period for the eagles, and it can be considered as a bit of a transition phase for them.


This can always be a demanding situation to have to deal with, and it makes it even more vital to have an experienced manager at the helm.


It would be in the club's best interests to retain Hodgson for at least another year, even though the football being played is not necessarily the best right now.


There is evident dissatisfaction from the fans point of view currently and despite a couple of good results to give breathing room to the relegation zone, they want more than that.


They are a team that do not offer anywhere near enough on the offensive end even when they look comfortable in a match.


Only managing 31 goals in 29 games this season, the fans have good reason to complain, the style they play is not particularly exciting and in a lot of ways could be described as safe.


Leading scorer and star player, Wilfred Zaha, has notched up nine goals this season and is far and away their most creative player.


Without their key man, you really wonder where this team would be, he is the main spark in the attack but when he is not firing, Palace will always struggle.


Problems on the defensive side have also cost Palace a lot, conceding a total of 47 goals this season.


A lot of these goals of course came in a few heavy defeats, but when they go a goal down, they always tend to struggle to put up any sort of fight.


Things obviously do need to change, but you must be wary of what you wish for as a fan as the club is in a dangerous position which could take it either way.


Next year is going to be a challenging one, especially with the number of players who could be leaving, for a permanent fix, the solution cannot be made in a rush.


Although some supporters may be against the idea of keeping Hodgson, others will argue that they need someone who knows the club well and can guide them through this.


Survival is practically confirmed for this season, unless we see an extremely dramatic turn of events, but next year is going to be an interesting one for Crystal Palace.

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