You can read 19 more articles this month
SEVEN games played, seven defeats, zero goals — Palace were simply destined for the drop. The mixed reaction to Frank de Boer’s replacement certainly didn’t make life easier for Roy Hodgson as he faced one of the biggest challenges of his 40-year coaching career in trying to keep the Eagles in the most lucrative league in the world.
Fast-forward a mere 30 matches and it was mission accomplished with a game to spare. The manager of the season nomination for Hodgson is not one which many had envisaged when he was appointed but would be fully deserved should he win the award.
West Bromwich Albion had their own managerial award-winner in Darren Moore to thank for their valiant attempt to escape relegation over the past month. Moore’s efforts were in vain, but one can only imagine if he had been put in post earlier how their season could have ended up.
Taking all of this into account, it was to be expected that the final game of the season for these two clubs had a friendly feel about it as both sides had already confirmed their respective league status.
After 45 minutes of football to forget from both teams, the second period saw the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend miss good opportunities to put the game past the Baggies.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek did his reputation no harm as he continues to try to stake his claim to be selected for Gareth Southgate’s 23-man party heading to Russia in less than a month’s time.
The Chelsea loanee has had a breakthrough season at Selhurst Park and Hodgson’s persistence in playing him on the left-hand side, alongside Patrick van Aanholt and Zaha, has caused many problems for opponents this season and West Brom were no different.
This was displayed in the first goal, as he drove from midfield before finding van Aanholt on the overlap who squared for Zaha to finish coolly past Ben Foster.
Van Aanholt then capped a wonderful end to the season by rounding Foster in the final stages to seal a 2-0 win and give Palace fans renewed hope that their horror start of this season will not be repeated in the next one.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.