Panic buys or wise investments? Only time will tell which philosophy Palace boss Tony Pulis has bought into. Yet with the relegation battle heating up, every point becoming more crucial and Palace currently 17th, does Pulis and his side have the time to find out? Giving us an insight, is Darragh Bermingham.
Transfer deadline day was a busy one at Selhurst Park with a total of five new players including the highly rated Tom Ince, arriving at the club. Along with Ince, Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon, Joe Ledley and Wayne Hennessey have joined the relegation battle. It is clear that Pulis has the backing of the owners but it remains to be seen if his new boys gel in time to save Palace from the dreaded drop.
Tom Ince, tracked by many other clubs including Swansea and French side Monaco, completed a loan move from Blackpool to the Eagles on deadline day. The young winger, who started his career at Liverpool, has impressed in his time in the Championship and, at 22, Ince feels he is ready to step up to the Premiership. Tony Pulis recently backed the youngster, saying he is “convinced” that Ince is more than capable of fitting in in the English top division. Palace fans have every right to be excited about Ince.
Another reason for Eagles fans to be a bit more optimistic comes in the form of Joe Ledley, who arrived from Celtic for €3.5 million on deadline day. The midfielder has proven himself to be a very capable player and a leader during his time at the Glasgow giants. However, a new test awaits the Welshman in the form of the relegation dogfight of the Premiership. The 27 year old will be hoping that he can repay Pulis’s faith by pulling Palace out of the drop zone. Ledley started his career at Cardiff before moving to Glasgow in 2010, where he won two league titles and the Scottish cup.
Other arrivals at Selhurst Park include former Southampton winger Jason Puncheon, Blackburn centre half Scott Dann and ‘keeper Wayne Hennessey. Although they are not likely to set the Premiership alight, these are all solid acquisitions who can bolster Pulis’s squad if not his first team. Dann is a solid defender who can shore up the Eagles’ defense while Hennessey, who arrived from Wolves, provides competition for Julian Speroni. Puncheon has established himself as a Premiership player in his time at Southampton. However, with his first team opportunities at St. Marys limited, Pulis pounced on the winger, adding Puncheon to his list of signings.
Palace lost at the weekend to Arsenal and are currently just one point outside the drop zone. The Eagles face West Brom this weekend in a match that could have a profound effect on the relegation battle. Pulis will hammer home the fact that every point is crucial. The relegation battle is one of the tightest ever seen and with just six points separating Palace and 10th place, the Eagles will be eager to capture all three points this weekend.
With every team in the bottom half of the table desperate for points, it will be interesting to see if Tony Pulis’ new additions can gel in time to save Palace from being relegated.
Pundit Arena, Darragh Bermingham.
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