Crystal Palace: Are they as bad as we think?

Crystal Palace’s fanzine released a tweet earlier on this week awarding Bakary Sako with the honour of Goal of the Month, purely on the basis that his goal against Huddersfield in the Carabao Cup is the only one they’ve scored this season.

It’s been seven Premier League games and seven Premier League defeats for the Eagles and the owners have already dispensed with the services of Frank de Boer after just four games.

It’s been a record-breaking period for Palace, albeit breaking unwanted records, and Roy Hodgson has a big job on his hands if he’s to steady the ship.

We’ve looked at some of the stats that shame Crystal Palace as they lie bottom of the Premier League table.

Crystal Palace are now the only side in Europe’s top 20 divisions to have not scored a league goal this season

This list is pretty lengthy and consists of 316 teams, from major footballing countries like England, Spain and Germany, to ones of lesser renown like Denmark, Israel and Bulgaria. Every single team is those leagues has found the back of the net, all except for Crystal Palace.

Only Halifax Town in 1990/91 have endured a longer run at the start of a league season without scoring a goal

It’s been 630 Premier League minutes since Palace last scored a goal, stretching back to the 14th May, when they put four past Hull. They’ve overtaken Burnley’s existing record of 552 minutes which has stood since 1997. If they fail to score in their next game and the first ten minutes of the one after, against Chelsea and Newcastle, then they’ll beat Halifax’s record of 730 minutes.

They are the first team in 129 years of the Football League to lose their first seven games and fail to score a goal in any of them

This statistic probably tells you everything you need to know about Palace’s start to the season. There are teams who’ve lost their first seven games, but have at least scored in their defeats.

They are the second Premier League side in history (Portsmouth 2009/10) to lose their first seven matches

Portsmouth lost their first seven matches in 2009/10, but went on to win their eighth, with a 1-0 win over Wolves. Wolves’ goalkeeper that day happened to be Wayne Hennessey, who now happens to play for the Eagles.

They have failed to score in 11 of their last 12 Premier League matches

Their last 12 Premier League matches have seen three different managers in the dugout and 11 games where they’ve failed to score. As has already been mentioned, the anomaly is the 4-0 victory over Hull in May.

They are the only top-flight team to have failed to keep a clean sheet this season

Step forward Wayne Hennessey in goal. The Welsh international has conceded 17 goals this season, while they’ve failed to score any at the other end. Palace have conceded four more goals than West Ham and five more than Everton.

Mamadou Sakho isn’t the answer to their defensive problems

Sakho was a rock at the heart of the Eagles defence last season and the club fought desperately to sign him on a permanent deal for this campaign. Unfortunately, he’s failed to carry over his form from last season and has been part of a defence that has conceded

They’ve had the second fewest shots on target (16) of any Premier League side this season

Swansea have managed the fewest shots on target with 11, but they’ve scored three goals as opposed to Palace’s 0 from 16. To compound the misery Palace fans, two of those goals came against your side.

What does this all mean?

It doesn’t look good at all for Palace and replacing de Boer with Roy Hodgson isn’t the most inspiring change. However, if Hodgson does what many now think is unfathomable and save them from relegation, then it could be the crowning moment of his career, more so than guiding Fulham to the Europa League final.

Words by @dominictrant