Joy For All As 2016 Is Almost At An End
Another week, another loss.
It is very difficult to get into the festive spirit when, in the back of your mind, there is that niggling feeling that things might not get any better anytime soon.
The year that has been 2016 has been a tumultuous one for all Palace fans, I can safely say that I have only watched six episodes of Match of the Day, and like most fans, I want 2016 to be over as soon as possible.
However, does 2017 have anything better in store for us? I don’t think it could get much worse.
As a team, we are the worst performers in all four top leagues, and it makes me quite distressed writing such horrid facts about our club. Over the past four years we have witnessed an incredible resurgence, going from underdogs to Premier League mainstays. Now it seems we’ve gone from underdogs to under-achievers, and whilst the performances have been there, the results haven’t. We can blame the officiating as much as we want (some of it has been truly appalling), but when results have been this bad there has got to be something else to it, but I am going to try and forget about how dire this season has been and talk about something else. If I can.
The best place to start is the standard of Premier League refereeing this season. Most people can unanimously say it has been unashamedly appalling. Craig Pawson in particular had an awful game in charge of Palace and United, and arguably an even worse one for Leicester City on Saturday. In that fixture he completely lost the plot, booking about eight players, one of them was the wrong player, and sent off Jamie Vardy for seemingly no reason. He’s not the only referee guilty of making poor decisions, but he has been involved in some of the most high profile errors, and we are hearing about these increasingly every week.
One theory I think rings true is that the pace of the game is so fast now that referees, with no intention, miss key moments and rely too much on their assistants, who themselves are often too far away to make accurate decisions. The case for video technology in football is getting stronger and stronger and I think, like goal-line technology, it can be made into a success. The game has to change and move with the times, and this is the next logical step football has to take in order to prevent the sheer number of errors being made by officials, because it spoils the game and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Trying to think of other things to talk about other than Palace, I really am struggling. I love my club, and to see them languishing near the relegation zone is a travesty. There is nothing I care about more in the world of football than seeing Palace do well. That feeling when we were promoted, when we watched ‘Crystanbul’, when we stayed up in consecutive seasons. They have all gone and been replaced by feelings of despair, I dread every match we play, because I just do not know if we are going to humiliate ourselves. Should we really feel like this? I don’t feel the same way going into each game, I don’t feel excited any more and I don’t enjoy Saturday’s like I used to.
It is time to look very seriously at what is going on at our club, because I think Steve Parish is letting nostalgia get in the way of his running of the club, and I don’t blame him, because it’s great when a former player returns to manage. The first year was amazing, it felt like everything we could ever have dreamed about, but it’s gone so terribly wrong, and most fans want out.
I respect everything that Alan Pardew has done, I respect Parish, he knows what he is doing, and I hope it works out, because 2017 has to be a much better year. If it isn’t, we will not be playing Premier League football next season. That said, I honestly think we are witnessing a Christmas miracle, because despite our simply awful run of form, we are still not in the relegation places. How this is the case, I do not know! Perhaps it’s a sign of future good fortune, I certainly hope so!
Seeing as this is my last article before the festivities and New Year, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all the very merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years. This year has been a bit of a downer for all of us, so let us hope it gets better from here.
Take care over the festive period, have fun, support the boys in this busy period of games and remember, no matter what, UP THE PALACE!