After the team’s fourth defeat of the season on Sunday there were a number supporter’s asking questions about the prospects this campaign, and this seems to have continued into the week. Four defeats is not a good start, but looking at the first five fixtures before the start of the season a realistic target would have been two wins, with Stoke potentially considered the one that got away.
In that perspective things are not quite as bad as is being made out by some. The Premier League was always going to be difficult to adapt to and some opponents will just be a class above. There is a certain group of teams that must be the focus for points, with anything else being a welcome bonus.
Preparation for the next challenge, away at Southampton, will certainly have been effected this week by the injury sustained to Damien Delaney at the end of the first half against Swansea. The centre-back’s partnership with Danny Gabbidon has been a consistent in the Palace team from the back-end of last season, but Adrian Mariappa looks more than capable of being able to cover in his natural position.
The return of Joel Ward will also be welcome to the Eagles’ backline and with the away end sold out, there will be a wall of noise greeting the players as they take to the field.
With the squad photo being taken this week, there was some good injury news as Glenn Murray tweeted his successful first outdoor run since he was stretchered off in the first leg of the play-off semi-final.
Some other players got a run this week, when they appeared in a development friendly at Colchester United. The 5-2 win saw Kevin Phillips score two and Jose Campana, Jimmy Kebe and Stuart O’Keefe also get on the score-sheet. Although a friendly, the fact that it is during the season should give some confidence to those players pushing for first team places as Ian Holloway watched from the stands.
Speaking of stands, the Croydon Advertiser reported this week that CPFC 2010 were looking into the redevelopment of Selhurst Park, in particular the Main Stand and the Arthur Wait. It would seem that one will take priority, although that decision is yet to be made and depends on Palace’s progress this campaign.
Redevelopment has long been the option considered by the board, when it became clear that relocation to the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre would be a very difficult process. Their decision will be closely watched by the Palace faithful.
Daniel Smith - @dmsmith1987