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Trials And Tribulations Of Supporting Palace From Afar

I want to give the readers on TEB a behind the scene look on what it takes to be a Palace fan in America.

In order for an American fan to watch Palace walk out of The Hawthorns with a victory, a premium subscription called ESPN+ is required. The price is low at only $4 per month (roughly £3) and if timed right, that $4 could produce the last two matches played in the League Cup. A small price to pay in the grand scheme of things. Also working against us American fans was the kick off time. A 3pm (eastern standard time) kick off meant many of us would be following the match on our phones or computers during work hours (very secretively I hope!)

This is mentioned because I did not see a single goal that Palace scored!

I missed Andros’ absolute beauty of a curling left footed shot into the top corner. ESPN+ would not load for ten minutes and just as the video started it was already 1-0 to Palace. I missed PVA ‘doing bits’ and unleashing a rocket of a right foot in the 76th minute to put the game away. Just five minutes later, I missed Andros’ fake with his dominant left, slip right, and send a screamer across goal and off the left goal post. However, I did get to hear them on my drive home from work through the Palace app.

All of this being said, after watching some and listening to some, I am confident saying that Palace will be just fine. Townsend will be just fine. More importantly, my blood pressure will be just fine!

Looking back of the last few days, Palace played two entirely different games in what was a four day stretch.

What happened on Saturday could be summed up as terrible luck and lack of execution. Palace had plenty of chances to secure all three points but had to settle for the goalless draw.

Two major things stuck out for me after the game.

First, the players are becoming far too reliant on the brilliance of Wilfried Zaha. As the game wore on, it looked like whoever had the ball at their feet immediately looked to pass to Zaha and watched. They would wait for the lightning in a bottle that we saw at Huddersfield. He can and will win matches seemingly on his own, but he cannot win EVERY game for Palace on his own. Zaha needs help and someone has to step up and score goals. Only four goals have been scored by the Eagles in the league so far this season (only Huddersfield and Cardiff have scored fewer) and Wilf has three of them! That is outrageous, someone help this man.

Secondly, to whoever threw that beer bottle at Aaron Wan-Bissaka – shame on you. A player should never fear for their well-being while performing their job of playing a sport. What made it more despicable was that it happened at Selhurst Park. His home. A fan traveled over ten hours to throw a beer bottle at a player. I cannot wrap my head around that logic and I think Newcastle United need to take strong action (if not already) to ensure their fans never do that again.

DISCLAIMER: Yes, I remember when batteries were thrown from what looked like the Holmesdale Fanatic section in the last few seasons but has not happened since I don’t think.

So, in the end, Mamadou Sakho missed an absolute sitter late on. It was heart-breaking but it will happen during a long season. I can almost promise that it will again. Newcastle parking the bus and not even attempting to go forward against a club like Palace has to irk fans of the Magpies.

What was important to me was how the club would respond on a Tuesday night at The Hawthorns.

Palace dominated. There was not one moment in this game where there was any threat of West Bromwich Albion breaking through and challenging Vicente Guaita. As mentioned before, Andros was fantastic, van Aanholt did bits, and a centre pair of Martin Kelly and Joel Ward held firm. Palace were without their only goalscorer. They had to figure out how to create for themselves and find the end product that has been severely lacking. And find it they did.

One last thing that stuck with me as I listened to the match. Right before Andros’ second, the announcer mentioned that winning 3-0 in the League Cup would be a very nice boost for Palace moving forward. I sure hope he is right.

Palace have performed very well two matches in a row. I expect them to do the same this coming Monday when they take on “plucky” Bournemouth.

Another three points on the road would be huge. The next run of matches include Wolves, Everton, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and United all to be played before December. Points may be hard to come by for the next few weeks and Palace need to accumulate all they can.

To end on a high note, Palace now have seven points from six games which is seven points more than they had at this time last season.




1 Comment

  1. September 28, 2018 at 12:10 am — Reply

    You are lucky. In Western Australia they do not show Cup games but I watch every Palace League match

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