Palace In Perspective

We’re all a bit cross.

Cross with each other.

Every candidate for the manager’s job has aroused from some quarter or another, some of it more understandable than others.  Iain Dowie seems to have led the pack on this front, which is entirely understandable given his departure ‘up North’ to Charlton.

But he wasn’t considered until several others had said ‘No’.

The anti-Coleman lobby was quite vociferous too. He seems a bit dour and hasn’t pulled up trees as a manager but didn’t really deserve the dog’s abuse he got.  He was only around for a couple of seasons at Palace but was a really good player and we made a healthy profit on him when he left.

It strikes me that the problem is the difficulty of the challenge ahead.  The squad we have has struggled and it seems hard to imagine us overtaking three teams to stay up, whoever manages us.  Which brings me to the fact that we are …

Cross with the national media.

Look, there isn’t a single voice in the national media, in the same way that there isn’t a single voice among Palace fans.  I’m defensive on the subject of the perception of Palace nationally. But there seems to be a prevailing view, expressed again in the Standard last night to Steve Parish’s disgust, that we are a bunch of cowboys. While the ‘South London wide boy’ view is understandable after the Goldberg & Jordan regimes, the CPFC2010 ownership model is different. There is no single figure in charge and the owners are quick to identify themselves with the supporters.

In terms of the challenge facing Palace as a newly-promoted side, the loss of Zaha & Murray has been under-played against the chaos of the transfer deadline day signings.

We’re not alone in being subject to a one-eyed view from the press.  Wenger is past it and cannot organise a defence, yet Arsenal are top of the league. Newcastle are a disaster waiting to happen, yet they are in the top half after beating Spurs and Chelsea.  Curse them for ruining the easy narrative.

It would have been great to have been seen as plucky under-dogs with an ownership in tune with the fans.  Sadly Plucky under-dogs are only allowed in the FA Cup. Maybe we should let our hearts rule our heads and take advantage of the generous odds offered on us staying up.  Except that we are very …

Cross with the bookies

Not because we are lunatic gamblers whose livelihood depends on the outcome of a bet.  Instead, it is because the bookies odds (and the press who can write the easiest of stories off the back of these odds) have led us along the path of certainty and finality.  Except that the odds have been misleading and wrong.

Maybe off the back of the Palace job, the media will stop using bookies odds as a guide to managerial roles.  I doubt it.

Maybe, the inaccuracy of the bookies is an indication that insiders at the Palace have not leaked titbits in the same way as other clubs.  Perhaps, but even if that were the case, prospective managers and especially their agents have far less interest in keeping things quiet.

Perhaps most of all we’re cross that we’ve had two weeks without a game.

Last weekend was heroically dull without any games at all.  For Palace it is an exciting time ahead. We’ve got a few big games coming up. We’re playing a bit better. And Keith Millen seems to be doing ok.

C’mon let’s  play some football.  It will take our minds off all that other nonsense.

Article written by Neil Carter


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