Preview: Crystal Palace v Swansea City (28/12/2015)

Written by Jack Pierce

ChungyAt the end of August, Garry Monk was the best thing going and a potential future England manager.

Four months on, instead of overseeing Swansea's busy festive period, he was peeling the potatoes and watching some god awful Christmas television.

Swansea's awful run of form since their bright and exciting start to the season cost Monk his job and leaves his former club looking for a new man who will be required to lead the club away from the bottom three.

The general consensus is Monk was harshly treated and the superb job he's done since taking over from Michael Laudrup in February 2014 should've warranted more time being given to the manager in order to see if he could turn things around.

Unfortunately two home matches did for him; the Bournemouth and Leicester matches. Although Swansea salvaged a point from in their game against The Cherries, their performance was nothing like the type offered by the in-form and engaged Swansea of the last 18 months or so. The cracks that were beginning to show in that match were smashed wide open by a rampant Leicester side. Granted, Leicester were in the midst of their excellent run of form and in Riyad Mahrez, they possessed the best player on the park by a country mile but the ease in which Leicester got the ball from front to back was alarming. A defence, usually so well marshalled by the excellent Ashley Williams, looked a shadow of its usual self and in a 3-0 defeat, Monk's side were lucky to get nil.

The damage was done and Huw Jenkins had seen enough to dismiss Monk and seek a change in direction. Which direction that is has yet to be decided with a wide range of names being linked with the job.

Marcelo Bielsa and Gus Poyet have both led the odds at different times and the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Di Matteo have also been linked the vacancy but currently it's club stalwart, Alan Curtis, in charge and he will oversee their visit to SE25 on Monday.

As we can appreciate, a good, solid caretaker manager can be vital during a time of transition. Keith Millen's importance prior to the appointments of both Tony Pulis and Alan Pardew shouldn't be underestimated. Without Millen's steadying presence, who knows where the club might be now?

Swansea fans will be hoping that Curtis will have a similar impact until a permanent successor to Monk is announced.

Boxing Day's win at home to West Brom is just the sort of result that the club needed and not only did it pull Swansea out of the bottom three, it dragged Albion a little closer to the mire. The more clubs involved in a scrap, the better for those trying to survive.

Saturday's win took them six points above Sunderland who remain second from bottom. With both Sunderland and the atrocious Villa looking pretty desperate, even at this stage, Swansea might be in the fight to avoid just one relegation spot. Victories against the sides in and amongst them between now and the end of the season should be enough to keep them up but they'll be eyeing the trip to Selhurst as a chance to build upon their win against West Brom and take them a little further away from the dreaded bottom three.

Curtis has clearly steadied the ship and The Swans certainly looked a lot more assured at the back than they have done in the last six weeks or so. With the loss of Connor Wickham and Yannick Bolasie weakening the Palace attack,Monday could be a close game decided by a single goal.

That said, the only sequence of playing two league games in 48 hours for both sides this season might conjure something a little more exciting.

Follow Jack Pierce on Twitter!

 

Category: