By Bulldog Drummond
Crystal Palace ended last season with a run of nine league games and one game in the FA Cup. Of these ten games they won four, lost four and drew two. The sequence began with the game against Arsenal at Selhurst Park, so it seems a reasonable comparison to start with that match and see how the last part of the season panned out for both teams.
Here’s the Palace sequence – four wins, four defeats, two draws.
|4 Apr 2022||Crystal Palace v Arsenal||W||3-0||Premier League|
|10 Apr 2022||Leicester City v Crystal Palace||L||2-1||Premier League|
|17 Apr 2022||Chelsea v Crystal Palace||L||2-0||FA Cup|
|20 Apr 2022||Newcastle United v Crystal Palace||L||1-0||Premier League|
|25 Apr 2022||Crystal Palace v Leeds United||D||0-0||Premier League|
|30 Apr 2022||Southampton v Crystal Palace||W||1-2||Premier League|
|7 May 2022||Crystal Palace v Watford||W||1-0||Premier League|
|15 May 2022||Aston Villa v Crystal Palace||D||1-1||Premier League|
|19 May 2022||Everton v Crystal Palace||L||3-2||Premier League|
|22 May 2022||Crystal Palace v Manchester United||W||1-0||Premier League|
And for Arsenal, it was five wins and five defeats.
|4 Apr 2022||Crystal Palace v Arsenal||L||3-0||Premier League|
|9 Apr 2022||Arsenal v Brighton and Hove||L||1-2||Premier League|
|16 Apr 2022||Southampton v Arsenal||L||1-0||Premier League|
|20 Apr 2022||Chelsea v Arsenal||W||2-4||Premier League|
|23 Apr 2022||Arsenal v Manchester United||W||3-1||Premier League|
|1 May 2022||West Ham United v Arsenal||W||1-2||Premier League|
|8 May 2022||Arsenal v Leeds United||W||2-1||Premier League|
|12 May 2022||Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal||L||3-0||Premier League|
|16 May 2022||Newcastle United v Arsenal||L||2-0||Premier League|
|22 May 2022||Arsenal v Everton||W||5-1||Premier League|
In this run-in, Arsenal scored 17, while in their run-in Palace scored 11. Across the whole season Arsenal scored 61 to Palace’s 50. So even though Arsenal’s last ten games make disappointing reading the fact is that the scoring rate was nevertheless higher in the last ten games than it was across the whole season. Which is not to say we didn’t need it to be higher still, (hence the summer purchases) but the scoring was improving through the season, even though we would have liked better results.
Following on from this season-end, Crystal Palace have brought in four players…
Cheick Doucouré; a midfielder from Lens, and it is said Vieira has been watching him for some time. The fee is said to be £18m.
Chris Richards; a 22 year old centre back from Bayern Munich: £8.5m
Sam Johnstone, a goalkeeper arriving on a free from West Bromwich.
Malcolm Ebiowei: an 18 year old winger from Derby County who came in for an undisclosed fee.
The Palace pre-season…
As far as I can tell Crystal Palace have played five pre-season. They opened with a 3-1 away defeat to Manchester United, followed that with a 2-3 away win at Gillingham (who were relegated last season from League One to League Two), and then a 1-1 draw with Leeds United (which having seen them play last season, looks a seriously dangerous way to prepare for the new programme. Maybe Patrick was looking to beef his team up for the new campaign.
After that it was a 0-3 away win over Queens Park Rangers, and finally a 4-2 home win over Montpellier.
Here’s a quick reminder of the Arsenal first-team preparations for the new campaign.
|July 2||Ipswich Town||London Colney||Closed-Door Friendly||5-1|
|July 8||FC Nurnberg||Max-Morlock-Stadion||Club Friendly||5-3|
|July 16||Everton||M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, US||Charm City Match||2-0|
|July 20||Orlando City||Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Florida, US||Clash of Nations||3-1|
|July 23||Chelsea||Camping World Stadium, Orlando, Florida, US||Florida Cup||4-0|
|July 28||Brentford||London Colney||Club Friendly||1-2|
|July 30||Sevilla||Emirates Stadium||Emirates Cup||6-0|
As for whether friendlies tell us that much about what will happen next, no probably they don’t. But I’ll leave that thought.
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