Manchester City dented Crystal Palace’s fairy tale run of results as Tony Pulis tasted defeat after five straight victories against West Ham United, Aston Villa, Cardiff City, Everton and Chelsea. In addition to stamping the Selhurst Park club’s name on next campaign’s Premier League pedestal, these results have been pivotal in relegation dogfights, European competition deciders and most importantly the race to the summit of Premier League. Though Crystal Palace are not currently rumbling for any of the aforementioned honours, these results will add feathers to the celebrated Tony Pulis’ cap who has made the impossible look possible after facing the axe at Britannia Stadium.
Having come into the picture at the London club, the former Stoke City eager beaver was handed over a Herculean task of surviving in the elite tier. Crystal Palace were chipped in to drop to the second tier of English football pyramid having garnered only four out of the possible thirty three points when Tony Pulis saw eye to eye with the head honchos at Crystal Palace to take over from Ian Holloway. Relegation looked almost certain until the Welsh manager invigorated the spirits of fans and players alike.
There was only a bit of magic anticipated from the club to sustain in the top tier given the distorted aptitude of the squad but the always-capped manager begged to differ. He guided the washed up team to twelve triumphs with a win percentage of about 48%. That is some turn around that you would not have expected from Crystal Palace before Tony Pulis took charge.
He has transformed Crystal Palace from a team that used to give sure points to the opponents to a team that even the rejuvenated Brendan Rodgers side is intimidated of. From a team that realistically had no serious playing pattern under Ian Holloway, the Eagles have gone on to emerge as a giant killer as the Welsh genius instilled the never-say-never attitude in his players and even the most defensive side in Premier League – Chelsea had a hard time dealing with the counter attacking display from the likes of Jason Puncheon and Mile Jedinak. Damien Delaney and Joel Ward are reputed to cordon off at times of threat whilst the goalkeeper in Julian Speroni is at the zenith of his career.
Everything is being made peachy by the craftsmanship of Tony Pulis. His squad currently has the best defensive record only to the Manchester clubs, Everton and Chelsea. Under him, Julian Speroni has registered a whopping eleven clean sheets. Only the European competition pursuing clubs have better records. Even Tottenham Hotspur have conceded more goals than the Selhurst Park side this campaign.
Typical of Tony Pulis, he has made the crowd vibrant in addition to adding flair to his result and Selhurst Park is gradually efflorescing into a fortress, where every team that enters ought to formulate some solemn strategies and tactics to outplay the obvious underdogs. Written off, dead and buried and other such phrases have been replaced by more pleasant ones after the resurgence showcased by Tony Pulis.
If Brendan Rodgers fails to give Steven Gerrard the taste of Premier League title, Tony Pulis must be crowned the best manager in Premier League for 2013/2014.
He has demanded a £30million transfer package from the owners of Crystal Palace and that’s a lot lesser than what Liverpool and Chelsea paid for Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres but then, this would only signal the hope for another year of survival in the Premier League for the Eagles’ supporters.