Saturday 23rd August, 2014. Kick-off 3pm. Selhurst Park, South London (and Proud)
The soap opera continues. Palace still have no manager but have a crucial home game against the Hammers. It's the sort of game the club would have put down as one of those to definitely get three points from. Now...are we all so confident?
Palace are without Jason Puncheon following his sending off at Arsenal. Joniesta could be handed a starting place as a result.
Scott Dann was forced off at the Emirates with an injury but will have a late fitness test and could start.
West Ham are short of defensive options. James Collins is suspended after his red card in the defeat by Spurs, with Joey O'Brien (knee) struggling for fitness.
Matt Jarvis could be involved following a thigh injury but Ravel Morrison (groin) is not ready to return. Andy Carroll (ankle) is a long-term absentee, with Allardyce hopeful that either Enner Valencia or Diafra Sakho will be fit enough to start in attack.
By Jack Pierce
Been quite a week, hasn’t it?
But enough of all that, we’ve got a game on Saturday and it’s a London derby as we welcome West Ham to Selhurst, for our first home match of the season.
With both sides pointless after opening day defeats, you would think that both sides will be looking at this fixture as the perfect chance to get off the mark.
But there is a caveat - both managers have a lot riding on the fixture. For Keith Millen, a Palace win would push his case for the management role along nicely; whereas, defeat for West Ham and Fat Sam may well be clearing his desk on Monday morning.
If the West Ham manager was to lose his job after only two games, Hammers’ fans may well ask why he wasn’t relieved of his duties at the end of last season.
The reason why not: a huge severance payment that would be due to Allardyce.
That said, the board will expect improvements on last season’s return and having supported Allardyce with a decent transfer budget, time might not be on the manager’s side.
Their summer spending was spread across the team with additions made to the defence, midfield and attack. The highly rated Aaron Cresswell (Leighton Baines-lite), who must have crossed Palace’s mind when it came to signing a left back, has been bought in from Ipswich. Carl Jenkinson, relegated to third choice right back at Arsenal, made the short trip across London on loan for the season and Cheikhou Kouyate has also been added to the squad. The Senegalese midfielder can also play in defence and his clash with our own midfield enforcer, Mile Jedinak, might have people covering their eyes. Expect some very tasty 50/50s.
As is the annual tradition, Andy Carroll sustained an injury during pre-season which will see him unavailable for selection until Christmas at the earliest so Enner Valencia, fresh from a reputation enhancing World Cup with Ecuador, who was brought in to add competition to the forward position, is now their first choice and will likely starton Saturday. Another addition to the forward ranks was Argentine, Mauro Zarate. Once of Birmingham City, the attacker is a bit of an enigma; brilliant one week, anonymous for the next six. Allardyce will hope that he can get the best out of the winger.
Aspects of the team remain from last season. Adrian remains their first choice in goal and the two centre back positions are shared between the impressive Winston Reid and the less impressive James Tomkins and James Collins (suspended for this Saturday following his red against Spurs last time out).
Mark Noble, who has already provided a serious contender for ‘Worst Penalty of the Season’ with his casual attempt last weekend, remains a mainstay in midfield and will hope to form a decent partnership in the engine room with new arrival, Kouyate. Further forward is Allardyce’s go-to man, Kevin Nolan; who, be it his close connection with the disliked gaffer or his own poor form, came in for a fair bit of stick from West Ham fans last season. One of the biggest receptions for a substitution I heard at Selhurst last season was when the West Ham skipper was hauled off during last December’s 1-0 Palace win.
West Ham have two seasons until they move to the Olympic Stadium at Stratford and the idea of them moving there as anything other than a top flight club is not one that the club’s board wish to entertain. While the fans will continue to demand better football; as long as Allardyce continues to keep his side out of the bottom three, it’s unlikely the board will rock the boat too ferociously.
However, should West Ham become embroiled in a relegation battle as the season progresses, you would wonder as to who they could possibly get in, if Fat Sam was given the chop.
Is there an out of work manager who has an outstanding CV when it comes to keeping sides up?
Is there an out of work manager who has an outstanding CV when it comes to keeping sides up… and likes to wear baseball caps?
If only we had the answers.
Provided by Palace Stats
Crystal Palace have won eight, drawn three and lost eight games against West Ham at home.
West Ham are without a win at Selhurst Park in their last six visits; drawing two and losing four.
The Eagles completed the double over West Ham last season in their return to the Premier League; winning both games 1-0.
The last time West Ham lost their two opening games in the Premier League back in 2010-11, they were relegated that season.
Crystal Palace have only lost once in their last four games at Selhurst Park; winning games against Aston Villa and Chelsea, a defeat to Manchester City and drawing against Liverpool in an epic 3-3 comeback from 3-0 down.
The Hammers' last clean sheet away from home occurred six league games ago at Aston Villa on 8th February.
A HUGE game already at Selhurst given what's gone down at Palace this summer. A win would be a massive lift for everyone at the club and given Keith Millen's CV a big bump. There is a Holmesdale display planned and with the Eagles fans being amazing again we reckon Palace can sneak it.
Palace 2-1 West Ham
Sporting Director Iain Moody has left Palace amid allegations of misconduct relating to his time working with Malky Mackay at Cardiff.
Mackay had looked set to be the new Eagles manager but was turned down by Palace after former Bluebirds owner Vincent Tan sent a dossier outlining some texts Mackay and Moody had sent.
They included some examples of sexist, racist and homophobic texts, which the FA is set to investigate.
A statement on Palace’s website read: “In light of the events of yesterday, Sporting Director, Iain Moody has tendered his resignation and it has been accepted with immediate effect.
“There will be no further comment from the club on this matter.”
Kick It Out, the organisation working to eradicate racism from football in the UK also released a statement reading: “Kick It Out is aware but not shocked to hear of reports revealing alleged racist, antisemitic, sexist and homophobic comments made by former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay, and Iain Moody, the former Sporting Director at Crystal Palace.
“These revelations are further confirmation of how football is tainted with racism, sexism, homophobia and antisemitism, and the culture which continues to exist throughout the game and in wider society as a whole. The reality is that these views are most dangerously held by those people in positions of power, and the football establishment knows and condones it.
“What you see at face value is not always reflective of the attitudes which are actually held deep down. It’s easy to present yourself as being reasonable and fair, and to behave in ways that hide prejudice and bias. However, any in-depth forensic examination or analysis of hidden views would be likely to reveal otherwise. That is what makes it difficult to eliminate and eradicate such prejudices, bigotry and even hatred.
“This familiar scenario acts as a challenge to the leadership of football that cannot be shirked again. The governing bodies and the clubs must denounce such attitudes prevalent in the game, and take the appropriate action. If these types of exchanges made privately make it into the public eye, the individuals concerned must accept the full consequences of their actions. Kick It Out now awaits the outcome of The Football Association’s investigation.”
It leaves Keith Millen as caretaker again, for the visit of West Ham on Saturday as Palace’s search for a new manager goes on.
"It's difficult for me to comment on the text messages," Millen said, speaking in his news conference ahead of Saturday's match against West Ham United at Selhurst Park. "It's not something you hear all the time.
"The focus is on Saturday for our first home game of the season. I don't think this has weakened us. The players trust me and we will do our homework on West Ham. We know we've got a tough game so the set-up is here.
"On the training field the lads have been fine -- they're serious and focused and we haven't changed too much tactically. Gerry Francis is here with me to help. There are no excuses.
"The fans have been fantastic. The chairman knows what I can do. It's whether he feels it's the right time [for him to be appointed]," he added. "The chairman doesn't feel like he has to rush and make sure it's the right person. My case becomes stronger if we win on Saturday.
"If you get results, then the chairman might think I tick enough boxes to take this club forward."
Oh FFS Palace, why is it never simple?! With news of Tony Pulis' departure from Selhurst Park, the FYP podcast team get their chat on.
Why did Pulis leave? Who will replace him? Why is there loads of cheese on the podding table?*
JD and Street are joined by FYP print editor Rob Sutherland and music journalist Tony Fletcher for the first full pod of the new season - and there's plenty to talk about.
They also answer your tweets and Facebook messages.
So join Jim Daly, Andy Street, Rob Sutherland and Tony Fletcher for 50 minutes of Palace chat.
*It was Snacking Cheese day
And check out the podcast's lovely sponsors Vektor Printing
Palace take on the Hammers tomorrow so we've checked in with West Ham fan Brad Sharp who gives us the lowdown.
Lots of positives to be taken, but the same old problem of goal scoring still stands. West Ham played the better of the football and really took the game to Spurs, but the red card and penalty miss changed the complexion of the game. If Noble would of scored I’m sure we would have gone on to win.
After they went down to 10 we looked nervous and shaky. Exactly the same thing that happened against Hull City last year, when boo’s rang round Upton Park at the final whistle.
Becoming more stretched with every loss. There’s no denying that Sam is very good at what he does, which is keeping teams in the league and building a side on the basis of a solid defence. 14 clean sheets last campaign show this. However, the lack of attacking football and excitement is missing and if this doesn’t change his days are numbered.
I think Pulis would be the last appointment that West Ham fans would welcome after Allardyce. Pulis did wonders at Crystal Palace last season, but we’re a more demanding bunch than you Eagles. If Sam is to leave the club at some point this season he will have to be replaced by a manager that has the ability to bring exciting football back to the club, especially with a move to the Olympic Stadium on the horizon.
A solid mid-table finish and a decent cup run. Obviously we made it to the semi-final stage of the Capital One Cup last season, but an FA Cup run would be welcomed.
Aaron Creswell has looked good and enjoyed a solid first competitive match on Saturday. He’s good going forward and can provide width to our attacks.
Similarly, Cheikhou Kouyate has enjoyed a good start to his Hammers career. He’s a strong, powerful player who drives at people in the centre of the park but can also cover at centre back.
Allowing Tony Pulis to leave was criminal. Whatever has happened between his and Steve Parish over transfers etc pales little significance to what happens on the pitch. Pulis rejuvenated a side that looked destined for the drop at Christmas and obviously won manager of the year whilst guiding Palace to their best ever Premier League finish.
Under Pulis, Palace could have enjoyed another successful season but I think they’ll really struggle now. Pulis was meticulous in his defending and Palace only conceded one set piece goal in the league last year, in the opener against Arsenal they conceded two in 90-and-a-bit-minutes.
Obviously a resolute Palace team did the double over us last season. I think Saturday’s match will be a tight low-scoring affair, a 1-1 draw perhaps?
Both teams are difficult to break down and both will be making sure they don’t lose a second game on the bounce, so I think both sides would settle for a point.
Another crisis for Palace, who are left managerless as the seasons continues. Tom Matson isn't happy...but he's not sure why!
I am livid, absolutely livid, and I’m not even sure who I’m livid at! That’s how confusing this past week or so has been. Tony Pulis, Steve Parish, Iain Moody, Vincent Tan the list goes on and the only one who’s not annoyed me is Simon Jordan, now that really is saying something!
After arguably our most successful season in the clubs history Crystal Palace FC now stand at the edge of the unknown with a plethora of shambles lurking all around us.
Firstly Tony Pulis upped and left us in the lurch two days before the start of the new season because he couldn’t get his own way regarding transfer policy, then we concede a very late goal against Arsenal when we looked good for a draw. Our search for a new manager looked to be over quickly with Malky Mackay an early front runner and many Palace fans were reasonably happy with the choice, specifically due to the relationship Mackay has with Iain Moody our sporting director. Now with new allegations coming out regarding racist, sexist and homophobic texts shared between the two Moody has now resigned from his position and Mackay is no longer in contention for the manager’s job. What a mess!
From mid table success and solidity last season to today’s uncertain and shaky outlook, it has been a strain on fans all over the world. How could it all of gone so horribly wrong?
In my view Steve Parish has done everything absolutely correctly. He didn’t back down to a pushy manager no matter how successful he was. Some were calling to give Pulis everything he asked for because of his achievements last season. Admittedly without him we would almost certainly be back playing Championship football this season but if Steve had given him an open cheque book we may well have headed down the road to administration once again and that is something we cannot allow to ever happen to our club again. Parish’s obvious stance over Mackay and Moody is to be commended also. How on earth could we let men work at our club who are guilty (if proven to be so) of racist and homophobic banter, this would bring our club and the game as a whole into disrepute.
As it stands we still have no permanent manager, a recently vacated sporting director’s position to fill and legal action pending over alleged spying and unsporting behaviour regarding our game against Cardiff last season. Could it get any worse?
The fact is it could get worse, but it also could get a lot better. Football moves fast and with a new manager installed quickly, a few decent players signed and a few wins under our belt everything could be looking rosy again. If this doesn’t happen and things continue to spiral out of control you can at least be certain of one thing, this fan and many more will love and support our club no matter what. Fans are the soul and heart of our club and we will never be broken.
Patrick Stevens doesn't much sympathy for Tony Pulis after leaving Palace - and here's why...
Well, so glad everyone didn't over react!
Right, let's get the obvious out of the way first,.. Tony Pulis did a great job for us last year and we all wanted him to stay.....But he hasn't.
We are all gutted, of course, and many immediately looked around for someone to blame; and (for me sadly) many didn't have to look much further than our owner and financial backer Steve Parish. I mean, Tony Pulis is the manager of the year, he kept us up last season, we even started calling ourselves Crystal Pulis for goodness sake - it can't possibly be his fault - can it?
Well let's all just take a breath and have a look at that for a moment shall we?
First. What about Steve Parish's record too? With CPFC 2010 he saved us from the brink of extinction, (oh no, not that old chestnut I hear many cry - but, please, it is possibly the most important thing in our history) he then set a five year plan to get us into the premiership and the got there even quicker; he took us to wembley; he kept us up in the premiership for the first time in our history; he fought for Pulis for a month while others ridiculed him for taking so long; and he backed Pulis in the January transfer window.
So, his track record at Palace isn't too bad is it? and it's a bit longer than 9 quick months ; know what I mean!?
Now, let's look at perhaps why Pulis has really gone... Over an apparent failure by the Board to spend what they say we cannot afford... Just yet. Let's not forget that they are long term fans who have our future in mind and have learned from previous mistakes. They also have already secured Chamakh and Jedi by upping the maximum wages we pay, they kept Jules when TP clearly had other ideas, and they have got in 3 proven premiership internationals with the promise of 4-5 more before the window closes.
Yes, I can see why Pulis would throw his toys out of the pram at that! And I can see why he would have to do it with only two days to the opening of the new season, leaving us high and dry. Come one... we are in a far better place than when He took over, and he knew what he was accepting. He's not stupid. So there has to be more to it that that.
And what about the timing? Did this really have to happen two days before the start of the season? Or has Pulis just decided he doesn't care enough. And if we think about this sensibly for a moment, is there possibly a different, more realistic reason why Pulis walked on us now? And if there is should some of those abusing Parish on the internet stop and think they might be wrong. Or at least hear his side?
For me , Pulis knew, on the back of last season's miracles (which btw Keith Millen and the players had already started before he was appointed) and after a summer of swanning around Brazil being feted by the media, that his star may never shine brighter. What better time to cash in and move to a bigger richer club? He knows he will get another top job soon enough in this desperate crazy premiership world, and we will be just a happy notch on his CV. He was never in this for the long haul - I mean he nearly walked in January after two short months. And, with that in mind, what big deal is it to him to leave us a day before we need to be focused? Obviously, he thought he'd give it a go first in pre season and see if the club would cabe in to pressure or panic and spend but when they didn't he sling his hook. I for one think it is to their credit, that CPFC2010 didn't start splashing the money And I think it is to his discredit that Pulis walked.
We are NOT QPR with their Rio and Samba grandstand signings. And Pulis knew that when he took the job But with Parish in charge, thankfully we will neither be Portsmouth - unless the abuse drives him away and some one who doesn't care buys the club.
And that's what it comes down to for me.
This week I talked of some of our fans having a sense of entitlement I used to only hear at Utd and Chelski.; just spend millions we are premier league for goodness sake ! Well we are, but only just, and with a lot of hard work ahead. And we risk everything if we forget that - EVERY thing.
So, please don't and get behind the climb. Let's say thanks for the memories Tony (and Ian and Dougie) but I will get behind team palace - from the board to the groundsman. Those who were here long before you and will be here long after you : I mean, you didn't even stay as long as Owen Garvan!
And to those abusing the owners and worse still their family I beg you, stop. These guys saved us, took us to the promised land and kept us there. They have been open, honest and kept their word to us every step of the way. And some of you have judged and convicted them without even waiting to hear their side. I have rarely felt less impressed. And I love Palace fans.
So, onwards and upwards (I'll also take sideways, or even accept downwards) and get behind the team. From top to bottom Because we have a job to do, and that is to support the club.
1. to sustain or withstand (pressure, strain, etc.) without giving way; serve as a prop for.
2. to undergo or endure, especially with patience
Never has it been more needed and we can do it best - if only we stick together.