Believe or not, the 38 game campaign is finally over, so how did the Eagles fare from the opening day win at Fulham, all the way through to the goal fest against Bournemouth on the final day?
Here’s our verdict on the players that contributed along with a stat or three.
31 VICENTE GUAITA (20 appearances, 1755 minutes, 0 goals, 0 assists, 2 yellows, 0 red, 6.74 rating)
The Spaniard waited patiently until an opportunity arose but he was finally given the chance and has not looked back since. Rarely have we had a goalkeeper that is so good with his feet and looking to get the ball moving quickly. After the more recent problems that we have experienced in the goalkeeping department, it is good to finally have some confidence in the man between the sticks.
13 WAYNE HENNESSEY (18 appearances, 1576 minutes, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 yellows, 0 red, 6.56 rating)
With competition for the number one shirt the performances improved for the Welshman but that did not disguise the same old problems resurfacing although it took an injury to give Guaita a shot who has never looked back. Unlikely to surpass the former Getafe stopper so faces a longer spell as the backup, and we do not need to mentioned the unwanted publicity he caused the club.
1 JULIAN SPERONI (1 appearances, 90 minutes, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 yellows, 0 red, 5.45 rating)
It was only right that our favourite Argentine made one last appearance in his final season with the Eagles. While he did not cover himself in any glory, it was in a game that pushed a very good Liverpool team right to the end, he made his farewell from the pitch. As expected, very emotional scenes after the win against Bournemouth and we thank Jules for his brilliant service to the club. He will be back in some capacity, we have no doubt. Goodbye Jules!
29 AARON WAN-BISSAKA (35 appearances, 3135 minutes, 0 goals, 3 assists, 4 yellows, 1 red, 7.27 rating)
Our end of season TEB Awards polls have yet to go online but there is no doubt who will win our player of the season. He already cleaned up at Box Park a couple of weeks back, scooping both the main award and young player of the year award, and rightly so. It is easy to forget that this is his first full season at the club after breaking through last season. It will be a long summer of speculation, but we should be confident of retaining his services for at least another season, hopefully longer.
2 JOEL WARD (7 appearances, 551 minutes, 1 goals, 0 assists, 1 yellows, 0 red, 6.74 rating)
With the rise of Wan-Bissaka, it was always going to be tough for Joel to break back into the team and that proved to be the case other than for suspensions and injury. However, a number of appearances towards the end of the season showed that he is worthy of being a squad player who can be relied on when called upon. Even managed to get on the score-sheet this season during his limited appearances.
5 JAMES TOMKINS (29 appearances, 2563 minutes, 1 goals, 1 assists, 6 yellows, 0 red, 6.85 rating)
Still made of glass but we are coming to terms with that fact but his contribution alongside Sakho has been one of the highlights of the season. Together they have proved very difficult to get past and with more consistency between the sticks, they have excelled. There were signs of a run of poor form but it only lasted a game or two, just a shame he missed the end of the season but hopefully he will be fully refreshed for pre-season.
34 MARTIN KELLY (13 appearances, 1111 minutes, 0 goals, 0 assists, 2 yellows, 0 red, 6.63 rating)
Probably saw more game time than he expected but slotted in well as other centre backs were dropping like stones. He is capable of holding his own in his position in a number of other sides and can count himself unfortunate that he has Tomkins and Sakho ahead of him in the pecking order, but just like Ward, he is reliable when called upon and has proved to be a valuable squad player. The own goal against Cardiff was a highlight which may sound odd but you had to hear the chant from the travelling fans to know what we mean.
6 SCOTT DANN (10 appearances, 661 minutes, 0 goals, 1 assists, 1 yellows, 0 red, 6.74 rating)
Great to see the former captain back in action after a long lay off. May have lost a bit of pace and can be a worry when going one on one but has more than made up for that with his experience. Managed double figures in terms of appearances this season and an older head that is good to have around the place. Only down side is that he is likely to want playing time at this stage in his career so could be one that decides to move on.
12 MAMADOU SAKHO (27 appearances, 2417 minutes, 0 goals, 0 assists, 2 yellows, 0 red, 6.72 rating)
Just as has already been mentioned about Tomkins, together they have made the team tick at times and with the Frenchman bringing the ball out of defence to put the team on the front foot has become a key attribute. The lay off through injury has been disappointing but thankfully for us, we have had cover for the position, just not quite as influential. For a centre back to have made almost 30 appearances and only receive two bookings is pretty good going.
3 PATRICK VAN AANHOLT (36 appearances, 3198 minutes, 3 goals, 2 assists, 3 yellows, 0 red, 6.71 rating)
The Dutchman has really struggled for form this season and needs competition for his starting spot ahead of the new campaign. No problem attacking wise, it is the defensive side of his game that has caused a problem and you only have to look at the winning goal for Brighton at Selhurst which tells you everything. Not a solution having Ward cover the position long term, needs more pressure for his shirt.
27 PAPE SOUARE (1 appearances, 1 minutes, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 yellows, 0 red, 6.00 rating)
It is a goodbye from Pape who made a very brief appearance this season and if it was not for the horrific car accident, he may well have gone on to challenge for a regular spot in the side.
18 JAMES MCARTHUR (38 appearances, 3072 minutes, 3 goals, 6 assists, 7 yellows, 0 red, 6.80 rating)
One of the more underrated players in the squad who always leaves everything out on the pitch time and time again. The energy of this man is quite incredible and while he does not quite have the flair that others possess, he more than makes up for that in heart and attitude. Many have scoffed at his inclusion some weeks but he has rarely let the side down.
4 LUKA MILIVOJEVIC (38 appearances, 3420 minutes, 12 goals, 2 assists, 10 yellows, 0 red, 7.19 rating)
The captain struggled at the start of the season after the world cup and took a while to get into his stride but who could argue his influence on games as captain and top goalscorer. Hard to imagine what we would have done without him this season with his no nonsense play in the heart of the midfield and his talent from the spot.
28 LUKE DREHER (1 appearances, 1 minutes, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 yellows, 0 red, 6.00 rating)
Like Souare, just a very brief cameo this season but the future is bright for the youngster who will hopefully push on and be a regular fixture in the squad next season.
15 JEFFREY SCHLUPP (30 appearances, 1667 minutes, 4 goals, 1 assists, 1 yellows, 0 red, 6.66 rating)
Impressively fought his way from being a valuable utility man on the bench to a regular role in the midfield, contributing with the odd goal and using his pace to get out of sticky situations. Another player who fans found easy to target but got starts on merit. Must be considered a role as a midfielder going forward rather than as a full back or out wide.
7 MAX MEYER (29 appearances, 1415 minutes, 1 goals, 2 assists, 3 yellows, 0 red, 6.49 rating)
Arrived with plenty of hype which had the buy in from fans particularly as the German was much sought after across Europe. There is no doubting that he has had his moments but it has seemed that he was not relied upon as much as other players. Perhaps a season to settle before seeing exactly what he is capable of next season is the plan, but we like what we have seen glimpses of, just want more of it to decide whether he is the player we think he is. One of the immediate views to take from his appearances is that he links up very well with Zaha.
8 CHEIKHOU KOUYATE (31 appearances, 1897 minutes, 0 goals, 2 assists, 3 yellows, 0 red, 6.61 rating)
A very good addition to the squad considering how West Ham fans were disappointed about his decision to leave and move to South London. Has provided a big presence in the midfield when required and other than his height, his key attribute is driving forward with the ball. Impressive for his stature to have good feet. Has made some good contributions even though he has been in and out of the team.
42 JASON PUNCHEON (5 appearances, 11 minutes, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 yellows, 0 red, 6.02 rating)
One of our own but in the twilight of his Palace career. Only managed 11 minutes in his final season before being loaned out to Huddersfield which did not get him the game time he had hoped. The right time to move on, but that does not make it any easier for a player that has contributed so much. Goodbye Punch!
10 ANDROS TOWNSEND (38 appearances, 3018 minutes, 6 goals, 4 assists, 1 yellows, 0 red, 6.98 rating)
THAT goal! If he did nothing else this season, he would have been forgiven. A goal that will go down in Palace folklore alongside the Darren Ambrose screamer at Old Trafford. The season for Andros has been so much more than that though, linking up well with Wan-Bissaka throughout and pitching in with not as many goals as he would like but they are all likely to form our ‘Andros Goal Of The Season Award!’ Probably his best season since joining Palace.
11 WILFRIED ZAHA (34 appearances, 3041 minutes, 10 goals, 5 assists, 8 yellows, 1 red, 7.21 rating)
What more can we say about Wilf that has not already been said? Yes, he had his problems this season, a red card at Southampton and missing games through injury, but there has been plenty to enjoy from the Ivory Coast international who has pitched in with goals and assists galore. The goal he set up for Andros against Bournemouth and what went on just before sums him up in just 60 seconds. We cannot even envisage a Palace side without him in it and we have our fingers and toes crossed that while it will be a long summer of transfer rumours, we have the number eleven turning out in the red and blue come opening day.
26 BAKARY SAKO (4 appearances, 26 minutes, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 yellows, 0 red, 5.96 rating)
Brought back in January as a squad player and he did exactly that. Never had an opportunity to exert himself onto any games and it is likely that he will move to pastures new in the summer after being let go this time last year. You never know though, he could be back.
14 JORDAN AYEW (20 appearances, 1187 minutes, 1 goals, 2 assists, 3 yellows, 0 red, 6.50 rating)
Loanee from Swansea who struggled at first but put in enough good performances for a number of fans to suggest he would be worth bidding for if he is available for a small fee. We are inclined to agree, and he broke the hoodoo of being relegated with clubs, thankfully for us!
21 CONNOR WICKHAM (6 appearances, 61 minutes, 0 goals, 1 assists, 0 yellows, 0 red, 6.16 rating)
A long awaited return from a lengthy injury lay off was welcome but the pressure on him being seen as the savior up front when we really needed one was perhaps too much too soon. Niggling injuries that followed restricted his appearances which was a real shame.
9 ALEXANDER SORLOTH (12 appearances, 173 minutes, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 yellows, 0 red, 6.16 rating)
A risky signing last summer from a corner of Europe that Hodgson has had success in before but it just did not work out. In most appearances, the Norwegian seemed very inexperienced and not quite what we needed at the time. A loan stint in Belgium may well have done him good so will see if we stick or twist on him in the summer.
17 CHRISTIAN BENTEKE (16 appearances, 813 minutes, 1 goals, 1 assists, 1 yellows, 0 red, 6.66 rating)
After his injury lay off he looked back to his best and there is no denying that the Palace team play better with him as the lone striker, regardless of whether he is scoring or not. Appearances were limited once Batshuayi arrived but that allowed him to fully recover from the injury that has plagued him for a while. His lively return bodes well for next season.
23 MICHY BATSHUAYI (9 appearances, 757 minutes, 5 goals, 0 assists, 0 yellows, 0 red, 6.86 rating)
A much needed loan signing from Chelsea who injected much needed life and experience into a toothless front line. We could do a lot worse than sign him in the summer, or another loan deal as he clearly enjoyed his stay in South London. As he showed against Bournemouth, he is a natural goal scorer which is something we have missed.
So, Palace ended a sixth successive campaign in 12th place, but there is plenty more to share from the 38 game season;
- Top goalscorer – Luka Milivojevic (12)
- Most assists – James McArthur (6)
- Most passes – Luka Milivojevic (1,986)
- Most shots – Wilfried Zaha (73)
- Most tackles – Aaron Wan-Bissaka (129)
- Most aerial battles won – James Tomkins (91)
- Most clearances – James Tomkins (182)
- Most interceptions – Aaron Wan-Bissaka (84)
- Most offsides – Wilfried Zaha (16)
- Most errors leading to a goal – James Tomkins (2)
- Most yellow cards – Luka Milivojevic (10)
- Most red cards – Wilfried Zaha/ Aaron Wan-Bissaka (1)
Across the Premier League season, Palace had 14 wins and 17 losses, scoring 51 goals, conceding 53 and 12 clean sheets. Need more stats? Well, here you go ….
- Shots 493
- Shots on target 148
- Penalties scored 10
- Big chances created 40
- Hit woodwork 16
- Passes 15,243
- Crosses 577
- Saves 113
- Tackles 730
- Blocked shots 139
- Interceptions 446
- Clearances 940
- Aerial battles/duels won 2,868
- Errors leading to goal 5
- Own goals 1
- Yellow cards 58
- Red cards 2
- Fouls 224
- Offsides 78