Unity The Best Weapon Ahead Of Fight For Survival
Saturday, for me, was the first time in my Palace supporting life where I’ve left at half time.
Ever since, the keyboard warriors on social media have called me ‘plastic‘, ‘fake‘ and ‘not a true fan‘.
For me, those words hurt more than the atrocious first half witnessed that day, because I am far from that.
I was not the only one who swiftly vacated the ground as Jermain Defoe netted Sunderland’s fourth, and thankfully, final goal on the stroke of half time. The Lower Holmesdale saw several frustrated fans, unsurprisingly, walk out and take solace in the local pubs or begin to make their journey’s home. All with similar opinions of ‘never in my life have I seen us be that bad‘ and ‘I just can’t believe I’ve witnessed that‘ amongst other shall we say, more explicit opinions.
Furthermore, to add to my personal fury, as some of you may know, I live in Northampton and had made my trip to the Fortress that morning. What turned out to be a horrendous drive down, ultimately taking me four hours to arrive at ‘Fort Neef‘, Palace’s gutless performance was the final straw.
I have never felt such anger and sadness watching Palace. Yes, they have broken our hearts a few times over the years, none more so than last May in that huge final which I shall not mention. But at least that day we all, although devastated, walked away with pride and even though there were tears in our eyes, we had our heads held high. Never was a loss so undeserved. But Saturday, the events that unfolded showed just how much we have changed.
What has happened to our beloved club? Where has that fire and passion gone? Why has our supposedly ‘unbreakable spirit‘? Is it broken?
Many, many people feel that the blame lies solely with our former manager, Mr Pardew. Others feel that it’s from the top with the board. Some feel it’s both. And the rest? Maybe blame the players or simply have absolutely no blooming idea.
Regardless of whether you think I was right or wrong leaving when I did on Saturday, it’s done now and I can’t change that. Quite frankly, I had such a brilliant time afterwards, that if I was to go back, I’d do it again. However, nobody has the right to call me out for leaving. For me it was my way of ‘protesting‘, like all the others that left, my disgust at our dreadful performance.
One thing I do think is utterly unacceptable is the attitude of some fans towards the players. We all know that one particular fan thought it was a genius idea to invade the pitch and show his obvious anger towards Palace’s number 27, Damian Delaney. I know my personal opinions of Damo may make me slightly biased but the actions of that fan were completely ridiculous. I know he was as frustrated as the rest of us and it was his way of venting, but to approach and accost Delaney in the manner he did was not the right way to display those frustrations. Fair play to him though, there are not many that would want to square up to the Irishman. In all honesty, I am surprised Damo didn’t flatten him!
Now the dust has settled and the hangovers have more or less passed, on reflection, Saturday really was as they say ‘a bad day at the office‘.
After last Tuesday’s emphatic away win to Bournemouth, our confidence seemed to go a little further than perhaps it should have. I think many of us expected to win on Saturday, and on paper, we should have. It just wasn’t meant to be which was why that first half, was so difficult to swallow.
The worst thing was the players lack of hunger and fight. None of them looked like they cared. You could see how deflated they looked, the fire was completely extinguished. As for the goalkeeping, I’m not even going to write his name! The whole performance was a complete and utter shambles, and has been for some time. I cannot understand how someone keeps getting selected with those amount of mistakes but that is a WHOLE other argument!.
Big Sam I have warmed to, and I actually quite like him. The comments he makes seem to resonate with what we the fans are thinking. He brought in some excellent players last month and now it’s time to utilise them to strengthen the spine of our squad. SOMETHING has to change. SOMETHING has got to give. Sam has to have the kahunas to drop the fodder and show the team, board and of course, us, he means what he is saying.
He wants to fight to save us which is all well a good, but that passion needs to come from the players too. We need to get back that passion that made us who were are.
In hindsight, yes, leaving when I did probably wasn’t the right thing to do, but it felt right at the time. However, just because I did that, it doesn’t stop me loving Palace as much as I do, having passion and support, and wanting to stay up even though I will love them whatever league they are in. We need to come together as fans now. Stop calling each other out, fighting between us. Arguing who is the better fan. Fighting the players. It all needs to end. Use that venom and passion positively.
We are Crystal Palace. We all bleed red and blue. If we start to bring back our belief and spirit in the stands, maybe, just maybe, we might see what glimmer of light and hope is left shine through to the pitch.
This convocation needs to unite.
Bring on the Potters. Up the Palace!