Here we go then… the start of the back straight but with a mountain thrown in for good measure. We couldn’t, could we? Well, if we are to, we need to start winning and quick. starting with Palace.
Right… so, ninth and free of any of that looking-over-your-shoulder lark at teams behind you in the table. A good season, right? How has it panned out compared to pre-season expectations?
Jack: A very, very good first half of the season for Palace and given concerns about recruitment before the start of the season, way ahead of where many Palace fans anticipated we’d be.
I thought you’d say that… and can’t pretend I’m not a little envious. You know what I mean…
Anyway, how’s Wilf? Last time we spoke he was getting a bit stroppy at having (in his eyes) to do more than his fair share of the heavy lifting. All calm now on the Zaha front?
It took some time for Wilf to settle down but he’s showed his true quality for the last six weeks or so. His ability to take the team up the pitch and keep us there is so important to the way Hodgson wants us to play and despite the number of goals/assists perhaps dropping short of what we might expect, he remains by far our best player.
You’re not wrong. Every time I watch Palace, he’s invariably the catalyst for most of the good stuff. And I really wish you’d not mentioned the fact he’s been light on goals and assists 🤦♂️
Apart from Wilf, who has stood out in particular over the first half of the season?
One name. Jordan Ayew.
From what we saw last season during his loan spell, there were low expectations but he’s been magnificent. His work rate, trickery, and link-up play have improved and he’s added a goal threat too. His goal on Boxing Day against West Ham was world-class and by my estimations, I’ve rewatched it 1,362 times.
Ha! Not surprising. Was like his body had been taken over by Messi. talkSPORT ran an ‘other bad players who have scored brilliant goals…’ feature off the back of it, which was ridiculous, yet about as talkSPORT as you can get. I’ll keep an eye out for him tomorrow!
What have been your best and worst performances? Am guessing you’ve been pretty consistent, but it’d be comforting to hear you’ve stunk the place out at least once!
We were atrocious at Spurs in September. 4-0 down by half time and not at the races at all. Pretty hopeless against Brighton too recently but a piece of Wilf magic rescued us.
In terms of best performance, we’ve probably played nicer football in other matches and the result at Old Trafford stands out but the win at home to Bournemouth gets my nod. Bournemouth were abysmal but we played more than 70 minutes with ten men and deserved the win. Roy in his element.
Sounds like Roy has found a real home at Selhurst, and good for him after his bruising experience with England.
But, on the subject of taking shedloads of flack, is there a Palace player in this current group who’s the anti-hero? One who the Palace fans like to scapegoat?
Wayne Hennessey doesn’t have many fans among Palace faithful and didn’t help himself with salute-gate earlier this year.
A decent shot-stopper on his day, he’s very much our second choice keeper now behind Vicente Guiata – perhaps the most underrated keeper in the division.
That’s not surprising. salute-gate and his attempted defence was, well, indefensible…
What have you made of our season? Our performance at Selhurst was pretty typical of our season – decent in patches but too fragile defensively.
I’ve liked the look of your lot when I’ve watched. Good on the ball with some very clever players to call upon – Cantwell and Buendia two good examples. A little naive defensively at times which has led to dropped points – Spurs winning the penalty a prime example last time out. 2-1 up with minutes to go and still three on three.
“A little naive defensively at times” is both well observed and a massive understatement. The most frustrating thing of all is we don’t think we’re far off being a good side but yet we struggle to get over the line too often.
Finally, a score prediction please … and can we survive?
Yes, you can survive but you need wins sooner rather than later before gap becomes too daunting.
With our injuries and fixture congestion, you should be aiming for three points here but we’re dogged and well set up. I’ll go for a 1-1 draw.
Blimey, You’re the first person in the whole country, not of a City persuasion, to predict a non-defeat for us this season. Thank you!
Cheers for your time, Jack. Appreciated. HNY and all that…