On September 13th at Selhurst Park Crystal Palace welcome Burnley. The two teams have a couple of things in common.
Firstly, they both play in claret and blue, although Burnley make no attempt to emulate the kit style of Barcelona.
Secondly, it is reasonable to assume that they will both finish in the bottom half of the league this season, and one or both may experience relegation again.
That is where the similarities end.
Tony Pulis has left Crystal Palace just before the new season kicks off. Whatever the reason for his leaving it is rank bad management by the board and in particular, or so it would seem, Steve Parrish.
What is it about Palace that they feel the need to replace one ‘yuppy’ chairman (Simon Jordan, who a lot of people think did a fine job) with another who, in appointing Pulis did a fine job and has now undone all that good work?
Depending on who Palace employ to replace Pulis, Burnley’s chances of staying in the Premier League have been enhanced by his leaving. The chances of Palace being relegated under Pulis were virtually non-existent as he has never been relegated with anybody. Now they are in the mix.
Sean Dyche, on the other hand, seems very happy and relaxed at Burnley and doesn’t appear to need to speak to the chairman every day to get things done. His challenge is slightly different to the one which would have faced Pulis.
Burnley ARE among the favourites to go down and it is up to the Ginger Mourinho to prove everybody wrong. At least he is not on a ship which has encountered a storm before it even sets sail.
If Burnley do get relegated the chances are that people will be sympathetic but always knew it was likely to happen.
If Palace get relegated the chances are that people will not be at all sympathetic and some will even have wanted it to happen.
Good luck to both teams. They’ll need it.
Iain Anderson, Pundit Arena.