Does the name Wally Pipp mean anything to my friends from across the pond?
If so, skip this paragraph. If you have not heard of this name (I’m assuming many of you haven’t), he was a first basemen for the New York Yankees in 1925.
Pipp was benched for a July game because of an injury and was replaced by a player by the name of Lou Gehrig. Gehrig had three hits in five at bats and so the manager decided to put him in the starting line-up the next day. Lou Gehrig then started 2,130 consecutive games until he was tragically diagnosed with ALS in 1939. Some know the disease by its common name, Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
So what does this have to do with Palace?
On Saturday, Vicente Guaita “Wally Pipp’ed” Wayne Hennessey.
Let me start first by saying that Hennessey has been a changed man in goal this season and has been one of the top performers for the club. That said, there is a 0.0000% chance that Roy can take the new goalkeeper out from between the posts. With one quick right hand along with a little bit of luck, Guaita became a part of Palace folklore.
Now this isn’t to say that Guaita played flawlessly. Far from it in fact. The decision to try and take on the ball himself as Jamie Vardy was barreling down on him was tremendously bad. For whatever reason, Vardy decided to go through the keeper as opposed to around and subsequently fouled Guaita (remember this for later) just before tapping the ball into the Palace goal.
It was the best thing that could have happened
From that point on, Vicente was a rock in goal. He took charge of every cross that floated his way. His passing and distribution with his feet was excellent. Even his shithousing throughout the second half was on par with plenty of the top players in the Premier League – name another keeper that received a yellow card in their debut? You probably can’t.
It was an opportunity for Guaita to prove to the Palace faithful he was worth the hype. In my eyes he was everything and more. Look, this move was going to happen eventually during the season. There is a reason why Guaita was brought to South London and it wasn’t just to play in Carabao Cup matches.
All of this Guaita talk and I didn’t even mention Luka Milivojevic’s wonder strike! What an absolute banger of a goal. Luka comes through time and time again. A true captain.
Remember that disallowed goal?
Lets take a moment to imagine what Saturday could have been like had Vardy won the ball with skill as opposed to fouling. Palace have lost all nine games when conceding first. For the sake of argument, we’ll assume that Palace would have lost on Saturday.
This then would be true:
- Palace would be level with Southampton for the last relegation spot and only ahead on goal difference.
- The curse of ‘No Wilf, No Points’ lives on.
- Roy Hodgson would not doubt either have been sacked or on the way to being sacked after the Manchester City match.
- Palace fans would not only be calling for Roy’s head, but Chairman Steve Parish’s head as well.
- Total panic and mass hysteria on social media.
Instead, all is well heading into a trip to the Etihad (we could still use some goals, lads). I love this club.
UP THE PALACE!!!