SOCCER - A.Klagenfurt vs Southampton, test match KLAGENFURT,AUSTRIA,18.JUL.22 - SOCCER - ADMIRAL Bundesliga, Premier League, SK Austria Klagenfurt vs FC Southampton, test match. Image shows a ball. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxAUTxSUIxSWE GEPAxpictures/xFlorianxMori

We love a good crisis. Every one of us. We love to examine despairing football managers and declare the next club IN CRISIS. We all wait for the opportunity to turn the crisis barometer up a notch following another dodgy result. We love it. Can’t get enough of it. Crisis here. Crisis there. Everywhere. A crisis.

Now, I’m fully aware of the name above the door (of the site). And how bad news makes for better headlines. But how about, for once, you know, we step out from the dark side and notice the efforts of managers and clubs not in crisis? 

Managers that have gone under the radar and received next to no credit while the nation obsesses over the next name to get the bullet. 

Roy of the Rovers stuff?

Crystal Palace are joint fourth and two points behind Manchester City. Let me say that again. Crystal Palace are joint fourth and two points behind Manchester City. 

Okay, you’re right. It’s still early days and nobody’s getting carried away. But what a start for Roy Hodgson and his very average Palace side. Not sure about you, I had The Eagles down to struggle this campaign. An uninspiring transfer window. A lack of a regular goalscorer (still to be addressed). Star player wanting off. It all added up to a side on the slide. 

But Roy Hodgson hasn’t been a football manager for 43 years for nothing. He’s an astute tactician and a man who has seen and done it all. It’s strange to think the bloke was pretty much unemployable following his time with England. How would he get another gig having overseen the nation’s most embarrassing result ever? 

Credit where credit’s due though. Roy has showed he’s made of some pretty strong stuff. The fact he saved the club from relegation in 2017 is often forgotten – no club had lost their opening seven games and survived before Palace. 

Roy the Realist knows European football is probably beyond this group. And the bookies odds suggest a place in the top ten is a more likely finish. Even so, Palace have momentum and well, stranger things have happened. If you’re weighing up a bet on Palace to gatecrash the top six, consider the view of a betting expert who has a proven list of the best betting sites first. 

Dyche sticking to his guns

Two points and a place behind Palace, Sean Dyche is back performing miracles with Burnley. 

Last year’s botched attempt at the Europa League knocked the stuffing out of the country’s seventh best side a year prior. Burnley are now the Burnley of old though. And most pleasing for Dyche, he’s doing it his way. 

In an era where playing it out from the back is the new norm, the second longest serving Premier League boss has stuck with his trusted methods and the style best suited to his group of players.

Unlike the rest of the league, Dyche has resisted the calls to join the bandwagon of teams

trying to mimic Pep and Man City. Dyche is fully aware what his side is good at, and equally, not so good at. “What’s the point in trying to be something you’re not?”, is an approach which clearly serves Dyche well. 

Games are being won and points are on the board. Only Arsenal and Liverpool have got the better of Burnley so far. Most significant is the fact they’re hard to beat once again. 

The “anti-football” tag unfairly associated with Burnley and Dyche is of course unwanted but arguably a sign of respect – teams just do not enjoy how Burnley go about ninety minutes of football. 

For as long as they continue to prove there’s more than way to win in the Premier League however, perhaps they should just embrace it.

Nick Albert