Following on from the 4-1 home defeat to Fulham, there has been speculation over Holloway’s future. Is he the man to keep them up this season?
Monday night’s match against fellow strugglers Fulham, was billed as a must win match for Crystal Palace. Instead they succumbed to a 4-1 defeat after two fantastic goals from Prajtim Kasami and Steven Sidwell. Palace have lost seven of their eight league games, and popular manager Ian Holloway is under pressure.
When a promoted side is adapting to life in the Premier League there are some home games that are picked out and deemed as must-win matches. Games against teams in the lower half table at home are ones that the side should really be winning if they are going to survive come the end of the season. Palace lost the must win match on Monday, and it now left them with just one win all season, and five points away from safety.
Ian Holloway has been here before of course. He led Blackpool into the top flight against all odds and encouraged attacking Football in their only season in the Premier League. They came very close to staying up, with relegation only being confirmed after a defeat to Manchester United on the last day of the season. Holloway spent minimal money and DJ Campbell and Charlie Adam proved to be invaluable players for The Seasiders. The club finished with 39 points, just one less than 17th placed Wolverhampton Wanderers. Blackpool scored 55 goals that season, the same as 5th placed Tottenham Hotspur. Holloway’s style of Football very nearly paid off.
The 50-year-old from Bristol has a lot of attacking options at Crystal Palace too. Kevin Phillips is still in the squad, alongside Marouane Chamakh, Cameron Jerome, Dwight Gayle, Yannick Bolasie, Glenn Murray, Jason Puncheon and Jimmy Kebe. There is potential for a lot of goals there, but they have so far only scored six. There hasn’t quite been the same flair as there was in ‘Ollie’s’ Blackpool side.
When asked about his future after the Fulham game, Holloway refused to talk about it, instead just focusing on the club’s future. A sacking would surely not be on the cards yet, he did well to get them promoted last year after Dougie Freedman had laid the foundations. He deserves the chance to keep them up. Steve Parish could end up looking for a more experienced manager though further down the line if points aren’t picked up. Tony Pulis could be tempted, Alan Curbishley may also be interested in another Premier League job in London. Holloway is a welcome addition to the league this year though, he is a funny character, and Palace chairman Steve Parish should not be pressing the panic button just yet.