It has been a truly terrible start to the new English Premier League campaign for Crystal Palace.
Big Sam Allardyce’s departure was always going to see a time of upheaval, but Eagles fans waited in anticipation for the new manager to be appointed.
Steve Parish and the American investors brought in Frank de Boer, impressive at Ajax and less so in his most recent job at Inter, where he only lasted 88 days. The appointment was met with a mixed reception to say the least.
Everyone expected De Boer to come in and change how Palace played – and he did. He switched to a three at the back system but it clearly did not work.
The players looked uncomfortable with the formation and at times didn’t seem to know what they were supposed to be doing.
Unfortunately, De Boer’s time at the Palace helm came to an end after just 77 days. It yielded zero points and no goals either. It was a disaster that has left Palace firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.
Step forward Roy Hodgson. The former England manager had been tipped as De Boer’s replacement prior to the Dutchman actually leaving Selhurst Park and he was quickly appointed as the man tasked with changing Palace’s fortunes on the pitch.
The London club really have gone from the idea of appointing a man to change their footballing philosophy to bringing in another firefighter, so to speak.
Hodgson, 70, has a huge task on his hands, perhaps the biggest in his 41 years of management, in keeping Palace in the division.
This sentiment is echoed by reputable bookmakers like Sportingbet, who have Palace as 4/5 favourites for the drop at the end of the season.
He oversaw his first game at the weekend and again Palace lost and failed to score. They did however look a better side on the pitch.
The Eagles created a couple more chances than Southampton in their 1-0 defeat but had one shot less on target – however, there were promising signs.
The switch to a more familiar formation seemed to work well too.
The problem is that they play Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea in their next three games – here’s the brief head to head history.
So while many will see these matches as free shots as they have nothing to lose, are they really capable of picking up points against the top three sides in the division? Will they even score?
Many are expecting the next three fixtures to yield zero points and that really will see Palace facing an uphill battle to remain a Premier League side.
No points after eight games would be a disaster and if they fail to notch too?
That is the worst case scenario but you do expect Hodgson to help Palace pick up points this season.
When he went in at West Brom and Fulham, he added structure, everyone knew their role and they were tough to beat.
Palace need that but maybe that will come after the next three games, which would be a tough run for any side – not just a team rooted to the foot of the table.
You can definitely see Palace getting out of it but it all depends on when the tide changes, if things stay the same for much longer, it could all be too little too late.