Manager: Dougie Freedman
Ins: Joel Ward (£400k), Aaron Wilbraham (free transfer), Aaron Martin (loan)
Outs: Nathaniel Clyne (undisclosed amount), Darren Ambrose (undisclosed amount), Sean Scannell (undisclosed amount), Lee Hills (free transfer), Jake Caprice (free transfer), Anthony Gardner (free transfer)
Strengths: Dougie Freedman has already felt the stinging slap of reality. Pre-season is all about establishing the room for improvement within a team. Luckily, Freedman has felt the full force of this message as Crystal Palace slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Welling recently. Commenting after the loss, Freedman said:
The result was disappointing but this has taught me a few lessons about what players can do and what they can’t do. It showed me that some of the young players are nowhere near ready for the first team and that we need more depth in the squad.
Maybe this wake-up call will mean that The Eagles will be ready to take flight and soar to the upper echelons of the Championship once the season gets underway then.
Weaknesses: Dropping vital points. In the tense scenes of the Championship, every point is a point earned, as far as fans are concerned.
However, Crystal Palace supporters may take a bit of exception to this statement, seeing as though they recorded 11 draws at Selhurst Park last season – more than any other squad in the league. Turn these draws into wins this term and The Eagles can surely steer well clear of the drop zone and maybe even glimpse at the play-off spots.
Last season’s performance: As mentioned, Crystal Palace recorded 11 draws at home last season. This unwanted feat meant that The Eagles finished in 17th place in the Championship last season and were staring relegation in the face on more than one occasion.
If they were a celebrity: Madonna. Both have had huge wake-up calls recently – Sir Elton John has gone as far as to claim that the queen of pop’s career is over, among other delightful, explicit comments. Now that could be a feisty scrap. But will Madge and Crystal Palace continue to snooze away their opportunities or react to those scathing slaps in the face?
You might not have known: Crystal Palace were one of the founding members of Division Three South way back in 1921, and won that league on the first time of asking. It’s always nice to look at times gone by for inspiration for more success and glory.
Championship title odds: 66/1