It would take a total collapse over the season’s final weeks for Crystal Palace to be relegated from the Premier League, and that’s already saying a whole lot for the work of Roy Hodgson.
[ RECAP: Palace 5-0 Leicester ]
Palace, you’ll remember, started 0-7 and 1W-1D-9L in league play, with Hodgson taking the reigns after Frank De Boer presided over the first four losses of the season.
Now, a four-match Feb/March swoon aside, Palace is pretty much safe.
Hodgson’s first win came the day Zaha returned from six-straight matches away with a knee injury, and three of the four-match winter woes came with Zaha fighting another knee injury.
“Wilf today, that was maybe one of the very best during my time at the club. He balanced running with the ball, creating chances and tracking back. His all-round game was great. He got the balance between when to hold on to the ball and when to lay it off. If he can continue like that there is no barrier for how high he can reach.”
To recap, Crystal Palace with Zaha this season: 9W-11D-7L
Crystal Palace without Zaha: Nine losses
Projected over a full season with Zaha’s form, Palace would have (rounded up) 51 points, three behind seventh place Burnley.
Now five of the nine matches Zaha missed were against Top Six sides, but four were 1-0. Methinks this guy is going to get some major attention this summer, though Palace may just hold onto him if they can convince Chelsea to sell Ruben Loftus-Cheek (3-3-6 without him).