On Saturday, Huddersfield were relegated from the Premier League, after spending two years in the top flight for the first time since the early 1970s.
It had become a matter of when, not if, for the Terriers; they are on target for getting one of the worst points totals ever accrued by a team in the Premier League era. Their fate was finally sealed with a 2-0 loss at Selhurst Park.
But perhaps we should have all seen the ‘when’ coming too. A defeat to Crystal Palace, a goal from Patrick van Aanholt… it’s all very familiar.
As Palace blog HLTCO pointed out: “Crystal Palace have now relegated 3 teams (Hull, Stoke & Huddersfield) from the Premier League in the last 3 seasons.
“Patrick van Aanholt has scored the final goal in all 3 of those games.”
In May 2017, Crystal Palace trounced Hull 4-0 at Selhurst, with Van Aanholt bagging the fourth in the final minute of the game. Last year, Palace beat Stoke 2-1, with Van Aanholt nabbing a late winner at the bet365 Stadium.
Which leads FFT to pose the very serious and real question: is Van Aanholt some sort of Premier League ancient mariner, forever relegating one-in-three?
Or might he be even more prolific than that? Who will he condemn to the depths of the Championship next? When Palace travel to Cardiff in the penultimate game of the season, Neil Warnock’s men may deploy some dark tactics indeed to deny the Dutchman.
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