In all honesty, it isn't especially surprising that Crystal Palace are struggling so badly this season. In August 2012 they were hotly tipped for relegation to League One. In May 2013, they were promoted to the Premier League.
Promotion to the big time is always a positive, but Palace found themselves hopelessly unprepared for a top flight challenge having been promoted unexpectedly through the playoffs.
Their squad, which wasn't even considered one of the better ones in the Championship, was ill-equipped to cope with the Premier League, especially considering that in Glenn Murray and Wilfried Zaha they had lost the two players who had done more than any other to fire them there in the first place.
There is nothing they can do about the absence of Murray, hopefully he will return soon from his horrific injury layoff to take the chance in the Premier League that he so badly deserves.
With Zaha, however, it must hurt them so badly at Selhurst Park that their former star asset can't even get into Manchester United's match day squad, let alone their starting eleven.
Their summer business was also nothing short of appalling. Everything was slapdash and desperate from Ian Holloway and co. rather than well-thought-out and considered.
History is against them. In four previous attempts they have never survived more than a solitary season in the Premier League, and it looks as though that record is going to continue. Worse still, their current total of seven points is the worst at this stage of any of their previous campaigns. It doesn't look good.
New manager Tony Pulis, then, appears to have one hell of a task on his hands to keep the Eagles alive. It is something that he'll be determined to do mind. He is yet to be relegated in his entire managerial career, and he will want that to continue.
Looking through the Palace squad, it is hard to see where goals, creativity and clean sheets are all going to come from. That would be something of a concern to any team, let alone one that is scrapping for survival.
So far they have scored just seven league goals, fewer than any other team in the division, and have conceded 22, the fourth highest total in the League.
The winter months are vital for any team hoping to survive in the Premier League, and Crystal Palace have a run of crucial fixtures coming up that Pulis will be targeting their next few home games in a desperate bid to pick up points.
They play West Ham at home tonight, a team with just a single win and four goals on the road all season, and Palace need to get a result to have any chance of staying alive.
After tonight's game, Pulis' side face Cardiff, Newcastle, Norwich, Stoke and Hull in their following five home fixtures. If they fail to pick up significant points, the Eagles will be as good as down by February.
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