Is this summer the perfect time for Crystal Palace to try something new?

Crystal Palace
(Image credit: PA Images)

Crystal Palace had two touches in the Brighton box and scored twice. Brighton had 52 in Palace’s penalty area and got one goal. Palace won. It was a managerial masterplan by Roy Hodgson, a gameplan executed to perfection. 

Or perhaps not. But the statistical curiosities around Palace’s Monday victory form a contrast with a rather more familiar sight. The victors now have 32 points. As usual under Hodgson, they are set to secure survival, and with something to spare. His formula of a low share of possession, a deep defence and quick counter-attacking tends to produce around 45 points, usually including at least one memorable win over one of the elite. Palace’s defence has been leakier than usual, but otherwise this is another of their Groundhog seasons: Wilfried Zaha wants to leave, doesn’t go and provides the entertainment to accompany Hodgson’s pragmatism. Palace don’t bother with a cup run, most of their squad get a year older and nothing else changes. Press repeat; copy and paste for another year of lucrative lower mid-table stability.

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