Palace Bounce Back
Wow, hands up who expected that?
Not me, that’s for sure.
A rather unexpected win from a Palace team really under the cosh. Rumours were rife that this was the make or break game for Alan Pardew, lose this and he was out. I bet he breathed a huge sigh of relief after that third goal went in, because he’s safe ….. for now.
I don’t think any fan, including myself, who was critical of him and thought he should leave were wrong to do so, but this is proof at least that Pardew definitely hasn’t lost the dressing room. There’s still work to do, but on this evidence, progress has been made this week and hopefully it will continue.
A win against a strong Southampton side showed what we are capable of, however, it has got many people asking where this performance been in the last six weeks. It does seem remarkable that the players can suddenly pull that out the bag after some dire results but I shouldn’t complain. The league table makes for better reading now than it did before.
The changes this week came in defence. Martin Kelly was dropped for club legend Damien Delaney, who not four weeks ago, I completely wrote off in a previous article for TEB. I said he was too inconsistent, too slow and not talented enough to be in a Premier League side. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Damien went out there and showed us what he’s all about, the passion, the grit and determination.
He was man of the match for me and he’s proved once again that theres plenty more left in him. What I love most about Delaney is his honesty, in post match interviews he pulls no punches, if he or the team have not played well enough he will openly say it. This is a man who we have sorely missed, and my article suggesting he was no longer good enough for us was proved wrong in the most spectacular way.
He has made a case in point after his performance. It would appear we lack any real leaders in the team. Giving Scott Dann the captaincy hasn’t really worked out as well as we all hoped, what we need is someone strong, powerful and truly dedicated to the cause. That man is Mile Jedinak, and my word have we missed him this year. Far too good for Aston Villa, this man remained one of our best players until he was, rather ruthlessly, thrown out the door. In hindsight, he was fading a bit but he still, like Damien Delaney, had plenty more to offer, and I am still gutted he’s gone.
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding Wilfried Zaha’s international future, having not been called up in over thre years. Wilf took matters into his own hands last week and decided to commit to the Ivory Coast, the picture of him holding their shirt in what looked like someones garden shed seemed like the end of the matter.
However, if reports in the Telegraph are to be believed this week, recently confirmed manager of England and former Eagle Gareth Southgate wants to try and persuade Zaha to commit to the England squad instead.
It’s a bit rich, considering how badly The FA have treated Zaha, who has repeatedly put in performances worthy of an England place in recent years, and has been constantly overlooked for more fashionable players, belonging to the bigger clubs. This symbolises everything that is wrong with the England football team set up, and I hope whatever option Wilf chooses, he is given every opportunity to succeed, he certainly deserves it.
FIND OUT WHAT OUR EDITOR SAID ABOUT PALACE THIS WEEK IN THE LATEST EPISODE OF THE EPL ROUNDTABLE
My final point this week comes off the back of that win against Southampton. We certainly have the players to once again remain in the Premier League. The owners seem level headed and are not rushing into any decisions despite facing increasing pressure from the fanbase and we all know that the club is financially capable of competing with many teams in this league.
Where we’ve come from, watching free transfers battle it out on cold winter Tuesday nights to now seeing superstar players competing on a global stage for one of the biggest and best covered footballing platforms in the world is remarkable, and it would be very short sighted of us fans to forget that.
I love the Championship. It’s exciting, it’s tough and it is always great fun to watch. However, I understand that us being relegated would cause a lot of the Premier League benefits to be sacrificed. There is far too much at stake for us to lose another six games on the bounce. We just cannot be relegated and expect things to remain the same at the club.
My point is this. The fans every week put in a shift, cheer on the team, and make a great atmosphere whether we win, lose or draw. That atmosphere drives the players on, they relish on it, so let’s not rest on our laurels, not get too complacent, but go out and believe. Believe in the team, believe in the management, whoever it may be, believe in the backroom staff, get behind the boys and drive on for more wins, starting away at Hull City. That is a crucial game, and one which we need to take points. It starts with you Palace fans. Do the club proud.