After winning promotion to the Premier League on the final day of the 2007/2008 season, Tony Pulis went on to secure Stoke’s top flight status for the next five years. It wasn’t always pretty. In fact it was never pretty but it was consistent and effective.
Pulis was given his marching orders in May because after five years in the Premier League the club owner Peter Coates and the fans wanted more. As an established Premier League team they want to see entertaining football not the terribly predictable, long ball, defence focused style which got them there. And kept them there for five years. Which is fair enough.
With the overall trend in football having moved towards the more aesthetically pleasing passing game, there didn’t seem to be too many options open to a man of Pulis’ philosophy. He’s not a manager fans would be happy to see take over at their club. Unless they’re desperate. Crystal Palace were desperate.
The Eagles aren’t in a position to grumble about how their team picks up points, they just need to pick up some points before it’s too late.
Three games in and he’s already guided Palace to two wins, moving them off the bottom of the table and within goal difference of escaping the relegation zone. Pulis knows how to get results.
Looking at his managerial career he doesn’t have the impressive win percentages of Alex Ferguson (58%) and Jose Mourinho (67%). In fact Pulis career win percentage of 37% is far from impressive but if he maintains his career averages over the remainder of Palace’s 23 Premier League games they’ll survive.
If these percentages hold true over the next 23 league games Crystal Palace will pick up about eight more wins and seven draws, losing eight games. 31 points added on to their current total will put Crystal Palace on 44 points, which should see the London club sitting somewhere between 11th and 14th place. Wonderfully predictable.