Why your team's star player is nowhere near as important as you think

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

In May of last year, Crystal Palace were not one of the surprise packages of the 2015/16 Premier League season. In fact, they limped over the line to finish in 15th place.

That wasn’t the case over Christmas, however. As they tucked into their turkey dinners, Alan Pardew’s team found themselves in the unprecedented position of rubbing shoulders with the top four, kept out of the Champions League spots only by goal difference. Then a 14-match winless streak, featuring five consecutive defeats, transformed the sugar-plum tale of sixth place into the dire depth-plumbing of 16th.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1