Love him or hate him but Tony Pulis might have a say on Crystal Palace’s Premier League future once again on the final day of the season.
If you are a supporter of one of the top clubs in the Premier League then you can expect good things to happen to you when the stars align.
But for every ying there is a yang and as all Crystal Palace fans know only too well, when the stars align it usually means there is trouble in store for us.
Should results not go our way this weekend we could be left in a situation where we will need our former manager, Tony Pulis, to do us a favour on the final day of the season. Yes, the same Tony Pulis who has just paid Steve Parish a little under five million pounds after losing a court case over the early payment of a loyalty bonus.
Should the unthinkable happen this weekend with Swansea beating Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and Hull beating Palace at Selhurst Park then it would mean going in to the last round of games we could be in a precarious position.
The last fixtures at the arse end of the league are like this:
|Hull City||v||Tottenham Hotspur|
|Manchester United||v||Crystal Palace|
|Swansea City||v||West Brom|
Now, I don’t know about you but I know a stitch up when I see one!
Hull City v Tottenham Hotspur
Since Marco da Silva was appointed as manager, Hull City have had a good run of form at home and come the last game of the season Tottenham will have nothing to play for. Chelsea will have wrapped the title up by then and a second place finish will be guaranteed so what will Tottenham have left to play for?
Pride! Pride? Do you remember what happened to Tottenham in the final game of last season when they travelled away to Newcastle, who were already relegated, needing a win to finish above Arsenal? They lost 5-1, that’s what happened!
Sorry, I’ll repeat that, Newcastle beat Tottenham, 5-1 with ten men! Tottenham will be well and truly on the beach, they’ll even have tan lines!
Manchester United v Crystal Palace
Well all know Jose loves Crystal Palace and the only saving grace we might have is that United will have the Europa League final 3 days after this game.
Jose likes to rest players, he did so at the weekend against Arsenal so there is a chance he’ll do the same against us because if United win the Europa League they’ll get a Champions League spot which they don’t look like getting via league position.
That said, there will be player who will be trying to force their way into the Europa League Final squad so maybe they will put on a show?
Remember, there is no love lost between Jose and Big Sam. When Big Sam was West Ham manager, Jose accused him of playing “stone age football” by “parking the bus” when Chelsea visited Upton Park.
While I am not suggesting they dislike each other maybe Jose will want to put one over Big Sam? Let’s hope not.
Swansea City v West Brom
If the unthinkable happens and all the results are going against us then we’ll need Swansea to lose this game to finish below us on goal difference. This means we’ll have to hope Tony Pulis, still bitter and twisted at having to pay us back the best part of five million quid, to get his team up for beating a Swansea team fighting to stay in the league.
West Brom were accused of being on the beach when they lost to us a few weeks ago so I’d expect them to still be hungover going in to this game. They have nothing to play for, they can’t catch Everton who occupy the last Europa League spot and the lowest they can finish is 9th.
I’ve made no secret that I’d have liked Paul Clement to have been appointed our manager before Big Sam got the job. I think he’ll prove to be a solid manager when he gets his chance and this appeared to be it.
Wouldn’t Pulis love to put one over on us? You can imagine the smug look he’ll have if West Brom lose and we go down as a result.
We may have cost him five million pounds but he could cost us one hundred million!
In all honesty I think our future will be decided this weekend and not go down to the wire but in the event that it does go to the wire we’re in the worst position.
Hull and Swansea will be playing at home to two teams who have nothing left to play for.
Palace, on the other hand, will be playing away at a side who will have a final coming up and who may have some players trying to impress in order to get a place in that team, or at least be on the bench.
It is a tricky one and one we’ve seen coming for a long time. At the end of January I thought we’d be down by now and it is full credit to all concerned that we will go into the last game of the season either safe or still have our future in our own hands.
Let’s all hope we get the job done at Selhurst this weekend and not give that swindling Welsh sod a chance to gloat over helping to send us down.
Note: For the record, I am grateful for the time Pulis spent at Crystal Palace and the memories he helped give us. However, no matter what he helped achieve at the club he can’t be forgiven for walking out on us 3 days before the start of the season.