Crystal Palace returned to the a premier League in 2013 through the play-off final, and many expected them to be the whipping boys of the 2013/2014. However that could not be further from the truth. After a poor start, Palace dropped to 5 points away from safety and Ian Holloway mutually agreed to leave the club.
Tony Pulis was appointed as Holloway’s replacement in November, and there was a transformation in their form almost instantly, with 5 wins on the bounce, which included wins at Chelsea who were top at the time. One of Tony Pulis’ tactics was to have a solid defence. Palace’s was certainly that, eventually securing 11th place in the final table standings.
STAR MAN – Jason PUNCHEON
The midfielder found a new life at Crystal Palace after a lacklustre four year period at Southampton. Puncheon managed to find the back of the net seven times last season which saw him as joint top scorer at Palace. The playmaker also managed to bag himself 3 assists throughout the season, and at just £6.0m he could play a part in many teams if he shows the same form.
HIDDEN GEM – Julian SPERONI
Part of Tony Pulis’ survival plan was always to be solid in defence and with this man between the sticks, you’re always going to have a chance. Over the campaign he managed to keep 12 clean sheets, which was only beaten by six other keepers who all finished in the top half of the league. At £5.0m, Speroni can be a top class rotational or first choice keeper, always with the chance of keeping a clean sheet.