When Roy Hodgson suddenly tells us information we’ve never received from any Palace boss before, we should pay attention.
Between the two recent Old Trafford visits, Roy Hodgson went out of his way to tell us fans about two top players. Roy said he had been “pretty much assured” he would have both players this month on his team sheet.
“We actually counted on them” said Roy. He then remembered as always to state the obvious … “and it would have made big difference to the size of the squad.”
Who? Well, the players most closely linked with a late window move to Selhurst were Hugo Etikie of PSG and Kelechi Iheanacho of Leicester.
Ever the gentleman, Roy didn’t blame anyone except bad luck.
Whose names on the Palace team sheet?
This started me thinking about the power of the information contained in Palace’s Typical Team Sheet since promotion – the eleven players who played most each season.
This process of creating a Typical Team Sheet for each season yielded some interesting facts over a period of ten years:
- Typical Team Sheets confirm the names of the players who’ve worked longest and hardest for us Palace fans.
- Typical Team Sheets show the team’s constant evolution, as most seasons result in 3 to 6 changes in the top eleven players used.
- Typical Team Sheets shine a light on changes in the club’s transfer strategy over the years.
- Typical Team Sheets bear witness to the changing blend of age and experience over the years.
- Typical Team Sheets emphasise the strong performance of Palace’s medical team as serious injuries have been limited over the years – most notably Ferguson and Wickham.
- Typical Team Sheets highlight the ‘one-season wonders’ like Joe Ledley and Cameron Jerome who nonetheless played a crucial role
- Typical Team Sheets recall performances of the best players on loan at Palace like Reuben Loftus Cheek and Conor Gallagher.
- Typical Team Sheets cement the memories of true loyalty from players like Joel Ward, Wilfried Zaha and James McArthur.
Starting prior to promotion, the Typical Team Sheet keeps us in mind of the men who lifted us to the level we enjoy today, and it provides a fascinating reminder of how young the players once all were!
2012-2013 Promoted Crystal Palace Typical Team Sheet (player and his age starting that season):
Speroni 33, Ward 22, Ramage 28, Delaney 31, Parr 23, Dikgacoi 27, Jedinak 27, Garvan 24, Bolasie 23, Murray 28, Zaha 19. Total Accumulated Age: 285 Years.
2013-2014 Promoted Crystal Palace Typical Team Sheet:
Speroni 34, Ward 23, Mariappa 26, Delaney 32, Gabbidon 33, Dikgacoi 28, Jedinak 28, Puncheon 27, Bolasie 24, Chamakh 29, Jerome 26. Total Accumulated Age: 310 Years.
In their first season back up, Palace added experience through 5 changes, with Mariappa and Gabbidon replacing Ramage and Parr. Puncheon came home to Croydon to replace Garvan. Glenn Murray’s injury resulted in the arrival of Jerome, while in his Man U stay Zaha was temporarily replaced by Chamakh.
2014-2015 Promoted Crystal Palace Typical Team Sheet:
Speroni 35, Ward 24, Dann 27, Delaney 33, Kelly 24, Ledley 27, Jedinak 29, Puncheon 28, McArthur 26, Bolasie 25, Zaha 22. Total Accumulated Age: 300 Years.
Mariappa, Gabbidon, Chamakh and Jerome all dropped off the team sheet after just one year as Dann, Kelly, Zaha and Ledley all came in to the club. The other signing to go straight to the team sheet was James McArthur, who replaced Palace legend Dikgacoi.
2015-2016 Promoted Crystal Palace Typical Team Sheet:
Hennessey 28, Ward 25, Dann 28, Delaney 34, Soare 25, Cabaye 29, Jedinak 30, Puncheon 29, McArthur 27, Bolasie 26, Zaha 23. Total Accumulated Age: 304 Years.
Just 3 changes. As Julian Speroni reached the end of his playing days, new signings Hennessey, Soare and of course the exciting upgrade of Cabaye all stepped forward. Kelly and Ledley stepped down.
2016-2017 Promoted Crystal Palace Typical Team Sheet:
Hennessey 29, Ward 26, Tomkins 27, Delaney 35, Kelly 26, Cabaye 30, Puncheon 30, McArthur 28, Townsend 25, Benteke 25, Zaha 24. Total Accumulated Age: 305 Years.
4 changes. Soare’s car crash gave Kelly his spot back. Tomkins was signed and proved a very capable replacement for the injured Dann. And Jedinak and Bolasie were both controversially sold, with new signings Townsend and Benteke incoming.
2017-2018 Promoted Crystal Palace Typical Team Sheet:
Hennessey 30, Tomkins 28, van Aaanholt 26, Loftus Cheek 21, Milivojevic 26, Cabaye 31, Schlupp 24, McArthur 29, Townsend 26, Benteke 26, Zaha 25. Total Accumulated Age: 292 Years.
4 changes as a big-spending winter transfer window brought in van Aaanholt, Luka and Schlupp, to replace Kelly, Delaney and the injured Ward. On loan from Chelsea, Loftus Cheek enjoyed his breakout season in the Premier League with Palace.
2018-2019 Promoted Crystal Palace Typical Team Sheet:
Guaita 31, wan Bissaka 20, Tomkins 29, Sakho 28, van Aaanholt 27, Kouyate 28, Milivojevic 27, Schlupp 25, McArthur 30, Townsend 27, Zaha 26. Total Accumulated Age: 298 Years.
4 more changes as Academy gem wan Bissaka and new signings Guaita, Kouyate and Sakho stepped up for Hennessey and the departed Cabaye and Loftus Cheek, while Benteke’s injuries led to more defensive posture.
2019-2020 Promoted Crystal Palace Typical Team Sheet:
Guaita 32, Ward 29, Tomkins 30, Cahill 33, Kelly 29, van Aaanholt 28, Kouyate 29, Milivojevic 28, McArthur 31, Ayew 27, Zaha 27. Total Accumulated Age: 298 Years.
4 new changes as new signings Cahill and Ayew replaced Sakho and Townsend, seriously injured by a cruel tackle. Ward was restored to the Typical team sheet as wan Bissaka left for Man U.
2020-2021 Crystal Palace Typical Premier League Team Sheet:
Guaita 33, Ward 30, Kouyate 30, Cahill 34, van Aaanholt 29, Milivojevic 29, Eze 22, Townsend 29, Ayew 27, Benteke 29, Zaha 28. Total Accumulated Age: 320 Years.
3 new changes as Palace began their move to a more attacking posture. New signing Eze replaced the increasingly injured McArthur, while Townsend and Benteke stayed injury-free to return to the Typical team sheet replace Kelly and the injured Tomkins.
2021-2022 Crystal Palace Typical Premier League Team Sheet:
Guaita 34, Ward 31, Andersen 25, Guehi 21, Mitchell 21, Kouyate 30, Schlupp 28, Gallagher 21, Ayew 29, Edouard 23, Zaha 29. Total Accumulated Age: 292 Years.
A major strategy transformation, with new signings Andersen, Guehi and Edouard all in for older players like Cahill, Milivoijevic and Benteke. Mitchell came forward from the Academy to replace van Aanholt. Schlupp came in for the injured Eze. And Gallagher made giant strides while on loan, replacing Townsend in the Palace Typical team sheet.
2022-2023 Crystal Palace Typical Premier League Team Sheet:
Guaita 35, Ward 32, Andersen 26, Guehi 22, Mitchell 22, Doucoure 22, Schlupp 29, Eze 24, Olise 20, Ayew 30, Zaha 30. Total Accumulated Age: 292 Years.
3 changes as Doucoure was signed to replace Kouyate, fit-again Eze replaced Gallagher who returned to his parent club, while Olise’s name appeared on the team sheet more often than Edouard.
Over the 10 years in the Premier League, only 38 Palace players have made the Typical Team Sheet. Most were Zaha (9 years), Ward (8 years) and McArthur (6 years).