It’s easy to look at things with a short-term perspective throughout the all-consuming weekly grind of the Premier League season. Between August and May, each point is precious, leading many to ignore the bigger picture in favour of frantic hand-wringing over a last-gasp goal conceded away from home.
By the time FA Cup final day arrives, as it did yesterday, things have adopted a far more leisurely pace, allowing supporters up and down the country to take stock of their club’s position in the game, free from the stresses brought on by a packed fixture list or a niggling injury for their main striker.
With that relaxed approach in mind, it seems as good a time as any to look at the path we have trodden since being rescued by the club’s current owners CPFC2010 five years ago tomorrow. For many, it is a story which has been indulged in far too often already, but off the back of a record Premier League points total just months after we had looked likely to drop out of the division altogether, it feels only fair to give them some more airtime.
Six full-time managers, countless caretakers, one promotion and two relegation scares have made for an exhilarating half-decade in SE25 since Steve Parish and co. first made their presence known, with the club somehow emerging from each and every crisis since 2010 stronger for the experience.
It’s worth mentioning that in each and every one of the five seasons that the current owners have been in control of our fortunes, we have managed to finish in a higher position than the year before; a truly remarkable feat when looked at against a backdrop of such regular setbacks within every campaign.
It may seem like an age ago now, but ever since the truly horrific form we had to endure under George Burley, there has been a collective effort from everyone associated with Palace to drag us further and further up the table, even if the board have managed to do so without employing a manager for more than 22 months.
In fact, the average tenure of every full-time manager at the club since the current ownership team came into power is just 10 months; a fact that could paint an unfair image of their methods, were it to be looked at without any degree of context.
Far from the madcap hiring and firing that goes on elsewhere, Palace’s troubles in holding onto managers have come through a cocktail of their own successes and failings, with Burley, Holloway and Warnock all proving beyond doubt to be out of their depth, whilst Freedman’s departure left us all reeling following a spell in which everyone seemed to feel we were putting down rock-solid foundations for a never-ending romance.
In Pulis’ case, it seems the man himself was unhappy with the mantra the club will live and die by under the watch of CPFC2010, flouncing out of the club after being told that he would not be given the complete control over transfers that he so craved, a mutual if painful parting of the waves.
Perhaps then, the subsequent luring of Alan Pardew from Newcastle has proven to be the board’s best move yet, as we look to once more stabilise our place after years of turbulence at every turn. Galvanising a side who were rudderless under the old-school ramblings of Neil Warnock, Pardew looks to have everything in place for a tilt at long-term success, after a season which for both he and Crystal Palace, has been a monumental success.
Where we will be in another five years is not something worth worrying about at this very moment, but after the almost non-stop roller-coaster that we’ve all ridden since the summer of 2010, it would be nice to think that things will slow down a touch from now on; not that I’d bank on it.
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