It was only a couple of months ago when some people were claiming that Crystal Palace could have been in with a chance of making the European places. Now, after winning just three points from a possible 27 available, Palace are still in with a chance of getting dragged into a relegation battle.
On December 19, Lee Chung-yong’s brilliant late winner away at Stoke sent Palace up to sixth place in the Premier League after 17 games, with only goal difference keeping them out of the Champions League places. Since then they have failed to win in the league and have dropped to 13th in the division, just eight points clear of safety.
This poor form has come as a surprise to many, given the strength of their squad on paper. Alan Pardew has built up a strong attacking line up including the likes of Yannick Bolasie and Wilfied Zaha, with Yohan Cabaye bought in during the summer to strengthen the midfield.
Since Tony Pulis came to Palace as manager late in 2013, the Eagles have always been built on a strong defence. Pardew has kept up this excellent defensive record since he arrived at the club, however this form has also deserted them recently, conceding 16 goals in their last seven games.
The real problem for the London club has come up the other end, where they have scored just 27 goals all season. Only West Brom, Swansea and Aston Villa have managed less. Of the five strikers at their disposal, only Emmanuel Adebayor and Connor Wickham have scored a single league goal. Right back Joel Ward has scored twice.
Adebayor was bought in by Pardew during January to provide the goals, and they need him to do so, or they could still find themselves embroiled in a relegation dog fight. With clubs below them just beginning to find enough to win a couple of games, they need to re-find their impressive early season form.