Category Archives: Crystal Palace

Palace Beaten By League 2 Colchester…

Just a few short days after achieving a brilliant result against all the odds, by beating Manchester United at Old Trafford, Crystal Palace, took on Colchester United of League 2 last night at Selhurst Park, in the Carabao Cup 3rd Round.

On paper, it looked like an easy task, Premier League high fliers, taking on the minnows of league 2… What could go wrong?

Palace made a raft of changes to their team, 10 in total, but it was still an experienced side that took on Colchester, with Martin Kelly being the only player to keep his place, from the side that beat Man Utd

However Colchester, had other ideas and were far from overawed by Crystal Palaces attacking options, which saw the game finish 0~0 before Colchester went through to the next round winning 5~4 on Penalties

On the night it was a surprise result and for those with longer memories, it would have revived the day back in 1971, when Colchester, also beat the equivalent of premiership opposition in those days, Leeds United, but this time in the FA Cup.

So it is Colchester who progress through to the next round of the EFL cup.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson, was disappointed to exit the competition, saying that he had picked a team, which had players requiring game time, who although maybe not regular first team players, were certainly strong enough to be able to beat Colchester, which as we now know didn’t happen.

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Crystal Palace… Will They Make The FA Cup Semi Finals

So, this weekend sees the FA Cup, that great and grand old UK Football tradition resume with some interesting ties, that can be seen.

In terms of eveness, then Crystal Palace v Watford, or to be more precise, Watford v Crystal Palace, promises to be a good game, for the neutrals.

Both teams are very organised, with Watford under Javier Gracia, proving to be a surprise package this season in the league. Watford, it should be said, have opted for a more unusual approach to their management team, with each encumbent of the post having no more than a 1 year rolling contract.

Each manager has been successful in his own right, with Javier Gracia, being the latest and perhaps the most surprise package of all the holders of the post, because he has the team playing in an exciting way, which gets results.

Crystal Palace, equally under the wise old stager Roy Hodgson, are holding their own in the league and are very organised and tactically, difficult to break dow, playing their best football when Wilfred Zaha is in the side

Watford for their part, have their own talisman in the outspoken Troy Deeney, who is no shrinking violet when it comes to speaking his mind

So the game promises to be good with a chance for both sides to get closer to Wembley, a venue which Watford last visited in 1984, when they lost to Everton, While Crystal Palace, were there as recently as 2015/16 when they lost to Man Utd 2~1.

Palace will bv boosted by the return of Wayne Hennessy and Papa Soare for a match Roy Hodgson describes as difficult.

Watford, for their part appear to have no new injury worries and it could prove to be an emotional match for Huerelho Gomes if he plays, because , he has announced his intention to retire at the seasons end, when he will after all be 38 years old, so he if he plays and the result is an adverse one then thats Gomes last chance to win the competition gone.

Overall it promises to be a good game with Wembley beckoning, its a close one to call.

Brexit: How will it affect the Premier League?

It comes without surprise that all 20 of the current Premier League clubs were against Brexit in the first place. With Britain set to leave the EU on March 29th, and a ‘no deal’ Brexit looming closer by the minute, what will happen to The Premier League and English football in the future? 

 

The first likely outcome of Brexit on English football is the restriction on the movement of players from Europe to the UK, and vice versa. Players will most likely have to acquire work permits when transferring from The UK to Europe. It is estimated that only 60% of all players in the top flight are UK nationals, so there is major potential of future issues within the league. The clarity of movements in the transfer market may be completely hindered, with it being harder for Premier League clubs to sign European talent, and harder for players with UK citizenship to move to European clubs. Furthermore, with the Champions League quarter finals set to take place just two weeks after the March deadline, and four out of eight teams being from the UK, how will the final three stages pan out?

 

Another potential issue Brexit may reveal regards the 1995 Bosman ruling. The Bosman ruling has made a vital development to football around Europe, allowing players to act as free agents once their contract with the club has expired. The ruling came after three separate legal cases between Jean-Marc Bosman and UEFA, The Belgian FA and Bosman’s club at the time – Royal Football Club De Liege. Bosman won his case at The European Court of Justice in 1995. With the UK departing European jurisdiction, and it no longer being a requirement to follow EU law, UK players could potentially be at risk from a lack of free movement. 

 

The FA has already made a pre-Brexit statement regarding all teams in the Football Leagues. Back in November, they stated that every roster must consist of a minimum of 12 players from a UK background. This could have a positive and negative effect on the league; forcing managers to train with a more ‘British’ based team, leading to further player development and possibly lead to a stronger English, Welsh and Scottish national teams. However, it could lead to a lack of European talent in Premier League teams. Talented players such as Van Dijk, De Bruyne, Sane and Hazard may aim to look at joining major clubs in Europe, to mitigate against the uncertainty that Brexit may bring. Premier League scouts will most likely put their focus on British talent, and the number of European players brought to the top flight could be dramatically reduced. Furthermore, more pressure may be weighted on football academies, as there is an increased need for young English talent. This would lead to the increased development of young English players, the likes of Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Callum Hodson-Odoi all generated their success through excelling in their respected football academies. Could Brexit result in a breakthrough for unseen flair?

 

The main question on everyone’s mind is “Can Britain beat Brexit?” Although the outcomes still remain indistinct, it is clear that it could be rough. Lets just hope that it doesn’t tarnish our league and restrict the luminous football we are all so familiar with. 

Should Glenn Murray receive an England call up?

Glenn Murray added his 11th goal of the season this weekend as he scored Brighton’s first goal in the (2-1) win over Crystal Palace in the A23 Derby. Murray scored 12 goals last season in the Premier League and is one away from levelling last year’s total. With 8 Premier League games to go plus FA Cup games, depending on Brighton’s run in the competition, Murray could have his most prolific season in the Premier League. So with Murray closing in on a record goal scoring season in the top flight should the 35-year-old receive his first England call up?

Glenn Murray’s career
Murray’s path to England’s top division hasn’t been easy, with the 35-year-old playing for 8 clubs before reaching the top division with Crystal Place in 2013. However, Murray only played 33 games in three seasons for the Eagles in the Premier League and was sent out on loan to Championship side Reading where the 6″0 ft striker scored 8 goals in 18 games. Murray’s impressive form at Reading tempted Bournemouth to make a move for the striker, however Murray only lasted one season at the Vitality stadium before being sold to Championship side, Brighton. After his move to Brighton, many fans and pundits believe that Murray would never play in the top flight again with the forward ageing and seeming to be on the decline. However, Murray proved everyone wrong and fired 23 goals in his first season at the Amex Stadium. Murray continued his goal scoring form into the Premier League and scored 12 goals to help keep the Seagulls flying in the Premier League. As well as a lengthy career, Murray holds quite a few accolades and records, for example, the 35 year holds the record for most goals scored in one Championship season with Murray racking up 30 goals back in 2012/13 season. Murray has also scored in England’s top six divisions, a stat only something that a handful of players have ever achieved.

Does Murray fit into the current England side?
It would appear that looking from the outside that Murray isn’t in contention for England call up for the Euro qualifiers with the 35-year-old seemingly not fitting into Southgate’s model. Southgate has introduced a high energy style of play to England that looks to exploit set pieces to gain an advantage over competitors. With such a high energy system in place, Southgate has been opting for youthful players rather than experienced veterans like Murray. For example England had the second lowest average age at the World cup (26) only behind Nigeria who had (25.9) However, it could be argued that Murray deserves a chance to earn his first Three Lions cap with the Maryport born forward being the third-highest Englishman in the top flight behind only Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling. Furthermore, with England’s strength at set-pieces, Murray would be perfect with the 35-year-old being a natural predator in the box not only with his feet but also with his head.

Overall, it is highly unlikely that Murray will be called up to the England side later this month however it would feel like a huge achievement for the 35-year-old who started at lowly Workington Reds. So to even be considered for an England place is a massive achievement for Murray.

Wilfried Zaha, the former devil flying high as an eagle

Sir Alex Ferguson’s task in his final signing of his Manchester United reign was to bring some youth into the squad that would hopefully grow into an attacking superstar and help replace the ever present United icon Ryan Giggs, that player was 19yr old Wilfred Zaha.

Signed from Crystal Palace for an initial £10m in January 2013, he was then loaned straight back for the remainder of the season, there Zaha helped the eagles gain promotion from the championship, earning the penalty in the playoff final with Watford which resulted in palace winning 1-0 and returning to the premiership.

Zaha made his Manchester United debut in the community shield, a 61 minute display ending in a 2-0 victory for the red devils and giving Zaha his first piece of silverware. That was as good as it got at United, Zaha only made 2 more appearances and was once again sent out on loan, this time to Cardiff City. The following year he was loaned out for the entire season to Crystal Palace.

Zaha was plagued from the very start in his United career, having turned up for the reds pre season tour flight to Thailand in jeans and a t-shirt instead of a club tracksuit which he had to change in to at the airport. This was followed by rumour’s that he had slept with new manager David Moyes daughter, a rumour that never went away and soured his relationship with the Scot. Zaha was never fancied by the new United management team and was eventually sold to Crystal Palace for £3m, a fraction of what United paid only 2 years earlier.

While at Manchester United, zaha’s incredible pace and skill were often commented on but ultimately it was the wingers lack of end product and inability to transfer the managers instructions to the pitch that ended his Old Trafford adventure, he has since admitted his immaturity, maybe it was a case of too much too soon?.

Since making the permanent move to his boyhood club Crystal Palace, the only way has been up for Zaha. In the 2015/16 season he made 34 appearances, scoring 2 goals. Zaha clearly benefitted from the love shown by Palace boss Alan Pardew, gaining playing time and experience the rough diamond started to shine. Zaha’s blistering pace and mazy runs down the wing created many chances and made his doubters pay attention and question wether United were right in letting the talented winger go. Palace finished the season in 15th place and reached the FA Cup final where they faced…Manchester United. The eagles performed well and pushed the game into extra time but try as they might palace and Zaha couldn’t stop United winning 2-1. That season Zaha won the Crystal Palace player of the year trophy.

By now the Ivorian had experience and learned how to turn potential in to fruition, he was stronger both physically and mentally after the United ordeal. Zaha was giving defenders twisted blood with his turning and dribbling and was Palace most exciting player. In having Pardew and then Sam Allardyce both heaping praise on him and developing him through his youth he became a more reliable and adult player, he also won the player of the year award for the second year running, showing his continued growth and importance to the team.

Zaha went from an exciting young talent to star player.He’s dealt with different types of managers in Pardew, Allardyce, De Boer and now Roy Hodgson.Differnet tactics, a relegation dogfight in which Zaha scored the goal that kept Palace in the premiership and relegated Hull City. He’s matured with hard work, and having a chip on his shoulder to prove his detractors wrong, his performances on the pitch show he’s done this.

Cut to this season, the eagles have struggled but Zaha has been one of the only positives, when he plays they have a chance but more often than not if Zaha is injured Palace draw or lose, he’s that instrumental to the eagles chances.

Tonight Zaha faces Manchester United again and with the red devils lack of a genuine wide man, can he once again show United what they missed out on?

Wayne Edge @oasis1711