Football is back! The FYP podcast is back! JD is back!
Yes, folks, it's time for another FYP pod where the team have a look back at the 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea.
They also look ahead to the trip to West Brom and welcome JD back to the pod from a few weeks away.
They also answer your Facebook messages and tweets.
So join Jim Daly, Kevin Day, James Endeacott and Matt Woosnam for 50 minutes of CPFC chat.
And check out the podcast's lovely sponsors Vektor Printing
A close home defeat to the league leaders and Mark Gardiner is not a happy man...
I think I’ve mentioned this before: I can accept being outplayed – Hell, it was Mourinho’s expensively-constructed Chelsea team out there – but I won’t accept being outfought. Just as against West Ham, Palace forgot those qualities which came to the fore last season. 2-1 was a scandalously flattering scoreline that hid the fact that a supine post-interval Palace didn’t raise a gallop until Campbell’s consolation goal on the brink of the 90th minute. Despite Courtois actually having to make more saves than Speroni the possession stats actually do tell the tale. What they don’t reveal is how easy it was made for the Blues.
Team selection was reasonably straightforward with Hangeland in for the injured Dann, although other changes could have followed the disappointing display at Hull. There was some thought that surely Jose would have come up with some master plan to combat Palace’s tactics, and that at least his team would know what to expect after last season’s glorious bushwhacking. That never actually happened with, in the first half at least, Chelsea’s defence looking decidedly wobbly and Bolasie appearing to have Ivanovic on toast down the left, even if the actual end-product was lacking.
After Chelsea had stroked the ball around for the first couple of minutes it was Palace who had the first good chances, Campbell not profiting from confusion between Courtois, Cahill & Ivanovic and some good work by Ward. From the ensuing corner it looked odds on a Hangeland goal but suddenly bodies flew everywhere and the ball ended up travelling away from goal. If only we could keep it scoreless for as long as possible then perhaps those nerves might trip a Kosta-free Chelsea up...
Sadly Palace were already playing too deep, sitting ten yards inside our half and allowing Chelsea time to build their attacks. Delaney was pulled up for a foul outside our box – from my viewpoint impossible to tell if he played the ball or not, but there was no doubting the brilliance of Oscar’s free kick that looked to stroke the net just inside the far post, technically the keeper’s side but I can’t think of any custodian who might have kept it out. Weirdly that just seemed to get Palace moving, although it was already obvious that Campbell was being isolated up front with midfield runners unable to get up quickly enough to support him.
First Fraizer again caught Cahill napping again but a difficult lob over the keeper with the ball at about chest level had too much weight on it and dropped on the roof of his net. The real disappointment was with his next chance a few minutes later; not with Campbell who, receiving a great pass from McArthur, found himself alone against four defenders, drifted the only way he could (left), beat his man and looked up to find no-one, winger or midfielder, had bust a gut to get anywhere near the box, so was forced into a cross shot that went just wide. Annoyingly that would be our best chance until the match was nearly up.
Despite a paucity of chances after the first 15 minutes it was a fascinating game, Chelsea patiently building while Palace looked to strike on the break. Bolasie more than once was caught between crossing & shooting, and the end result was neither one nor t’other, while later Puncheon had a shot beaten away by Courtois. Defensively Scott Dann’s organisation was missing as the hardly inconspicuous Terry was left unmarked from a set piece, and only a few minutes later there were two of the yellow-shirted b*ggers completely unmarked at the far post.
Unfortunately the referee then became the centre of attention, first by settling for a long conversation with that pillar of society Mr. John Terry instead of the yellow card it deserved. (Conversation probably went along the lines of: “Hello JT. Hope I’m officiating to your satisfaction. Now, I know it looks like I’m scolding you, and we must let them think that, but really, if you want to kick them up in the air, please don’t make it look so obvious, otherwise I can’t turn a blind-eye, can I?”) Within a couple of minutes Delaney was booked, at first for what looked no worse a tackle than that committed by Terry, although it now appears to have been for dissent (also I guess it was technically his second offence having been deemed guilty of a foul for their first goal).
Chelsea had a spell of domination until just after Puncheon’s shot Azpilicueta committed a horribly rash tackle on Jedinak and (to my surprise, not because it was a bad decision, but I just didn’t expect a Chelsea player to actually be dismissed) was shown a straight red. Selhurst came to the boil as Fabregas threw Campbell to the ground (somehow that earned both of them a booking) and we wondered how long it would be until Mr. Pawson evened matters up. Sadly Damo gave him the perfect opportunity with a silly tug-back on Remy – definitely a second yellow but the questionable decision was the first one. Chelsea nearly ended the half with a second goal but Matic headed wide.
I have no idea what Neil Warnock said at half time but it should be boxed up and sold as a depressant. Before the interval Jedinak had dropped into the back four in place of Delaney, which seemed a reasonable idea given that Chelsea had sacrificed Willian and were playing 4-4-1; perhaps the Jedi could bring the ball out from the back. When the team returned Jedi was back in the middle with McArthur lining up at right back & Kelly switching to the middle. However what was noticeable was how flat Palace seemed again, starting in a low tempo and once again sitting too deep, happy to line up just outside our box.
Sadly this tactical inspiration was to collapse within minutes as Chelsea worked the ball on the edge of said box and Fabregas was played into the gap between the out-of-position Kelly & McArthur; his finish deceived Speroni but was perfectly placed about 6 inches inside the near post. After that the second half at times resembled a training match, Chelsea happy to knock the ball around among themselves, much like Mourinho’s first title-winning side, suffocating the game, while our lot stood forlornly in their trenches 20 yards away waiting for the enemy to come to them.
By then Warnock’s plan was abandoned, Mariappa coming on at centre back with the anonymous Ledley withdrawn and McArthur moving back into midfield. That seemed a strange move, damage limitation instead of a call for death or glory – why not switch to 3 at the back and go 3-4-2 to give poor lonely Campbell some support, especially as neither winger now seemed likely to force the issue. Instead the deck was shuffled and we found Campbell, poor as he is at holding the ball up, shunted to the right wing and Bolasie (1 goal in 8 months?) played down the middle where he proved even less adept at ball retention, and missed one decent chance that acme his way.
McArthur the injured himself and, in the period between his leaving the pitch and Warnock’s introduction of his last two subs, Chelsea managed to keep the ball in play (& Palace down to 9 men) for about 5 minutes, with poor Guédioura standing ready to go for all that time; even worse Palace twice gained the ball but, to Warnock’s disbelief, experienced players such as Speroni & Jedinak didn’t thump the ball out until Kelly finally brought some measure of sanity to proceedings. On came Guédioura for McArthur and Zaha for Puncheon, who had virtually disappeared from the game.
The match meandered on, with the standard of Palace’s passing sinking lower, with Ward and Jedinak proving particular inadequate, while Guédioura started well before being dragged down to their level, and even Speroni lamping one halfway up the Arthur. Chelsea couldn’t be bothered to press for the kill and Palace looked disinterested, with the exception of Wilf, who made a couple of decent runs before in the 90th minute switching from left to right, beating his man (Filipe Luis?) on the goal line before cutting inside and setting up Campbell for a poacher’s goal. Suddenly Palace had some fight – why it took them so long to actually start putting themselves in Chelsea’s faces I have no idea, but the last 4 minutes offered an illusion of hope.
The game for me was summed up just before Campbell’s goal when, leading 2-0, Chelsea lost the ball and one of their midfielders streaked back to put in a tackle & the ball out of play. They had done that all match, hard work matching their undoubted skills, while we sat back, losing most 50/50 & second balls. It took a goal to raise the tempo and that should not be the case. A result was possible after half-time with a high tempo pressing game, but we subsided meekly; it might have been high risk but at least make them fight for the win.
Speroni – 6 – Technically the finger could be pointed at Julian as the free kick went in at his side of the goal while Fabregas beat him at his near post, but both finishes were out of the top drawer, and with the second the percentage shot is across the keeper, so Cesc won with a bluff. Apart from that little to do, one easy save in both halves, although one or two kicks were very wayward by the end.
Kelly – 6 – Often seemed to be outflanked & outnumbered in the first half so fluid was Chelsea’s midfield formation. Made one important interception at centre back in the second half to bail out Ward’s error.
Ward - 5 – Looked good going forward at times, setting up a chance for Campbell early on, but today his partnership with Bolasie never quite clicked. His passing grew frayed towards the end, one awful effort setting up a Chelsea break that was inches away from a third.
Delaney – 4 – At first I thought he was unlucky to be dismissed bearing in mind Terry’s escape, but in hindsight if the first caution was for dissent (yes, we were all yelling abuse at Pawson, but he can’t send us off yet) and not what the referee deemed his second foul and the second was that silly tug on Remy when we all knew Chelsea would peremptorily demand dismissal, then he brought a lot of it on himself.
Hangeland – 6 – For a tall man his direction of headers is poor, and I’m not quite sure how he didn’t bullet Puncheon’s corner into the net. Not really caught out by Chelsea’s clever short passing and actually managed a couple of timely interceptions, but without Dann the whole defence was just lacking.
Jedinak – 5 – Decent first half, with the hint of an elbow on Oscar, but game rapidly went downhill after the break when his passes were most likely to find first row in the Old Stand or Arthur than a colleague.
Ledley – 4 – I really cannot recall him doing anything at all. Did he make it past the warm-up this time?
McArthur – 6 – A couple of decent passes in midfield, one peach setting Campbell away, before being shuffled off to right back, then back to the middle and then injuring himself.
Puncheon – 4 – One excellent corner, one first half shot and... well, that’s it. Suppose he can claim Palace hardly had the ball and the chances of receiving a decent pass were pretty remote, but think he disappeared down that hole found so often by Tom Soares.
Bolasie – 4 – As a winger flattered to deceive early on, turning Ivanovic but managing strange hybrids of cross-cum-shots that the beanpole Courtois gobbled up, while his corners were either very bad (way over hit) or very, very bad (finding their first defender about 10 yards outside the near post). As a forward... why, Warnock, why? You’re on record as saying he won’t score again this season and today perhaps proved your point.
Campbell – 6 – Might have done better with his first two chances (the first more than the second) but at least showed Gary Cahill isn’t the next Des or Rio, let alone Bobby and was so isolated he had to make his own. Worked hard even when railroaded onto the right wing where he proved nearly as bad a winger as Yannick is a striker. Kept going and deserved his goal for that alone.
Mariappa – 6 – A substitution that didn’t seem to make sense unless it was damage limitation only, as Chelsea hardly needed to attack by the time Adrian arrived.
Guédioura – 5 – Looked bright at first then his limitations were shown up when he tried to force matters. Doesn’t help when most of your colleagues (Campbell excepted) aren’t moving with any urgency to give you options.
Zaha – 6 – A little bright spark as he tried to beat defenders but also passed the ball where there were better / easier options, and set up Campbell’s goal with the best Palace play of the match.
Palace have received a boost by learning that defender Scott Dann could only be out of action for three weeks.
It was feared the influential centre-back would be missing for months after tearing knee ligaments in last weekend's defeat at Hull.
But a scan showed a grade one tear which is better news that manager Neil Warnock was expecting.
"It's good news in a way, and I've been told he could even do straight-forward running on Monday," he told the Croydon Advertiser.
"It's a grade one injury, which is the best outcome to have.
"It could be three weeks until he's back but then again it could be six.
"When you start training you don't really know, but it's a lot better than I thought. I feared he'd be out for a few months, if I'm honest.
"If he had put a bit more weight on the knee as he's blocked the ball, that might have caused a bit more of a problem."
It means he'll miss the games against Chelsea and West Brom but could be back in the Eagles back line for the clash with Sunderland on Monday November 3rd.
The Irishman's rise from Championship no hoper to Premier League star has been remarkable, and Jack Pierce charts just how he's become a Selhurst Park fave...
Prior to signing for Palace, Damien Delaney meant very little to me other than being a fairly decent investment on Championship Manager circa 2001/02.
Having flirted with top flight football at the turn of the century with a handful of appearances in Peter Taylor's Leicester side; it took more than a decade for him to return to that level. However, since returning to the Premier League, Delaney has performed beyond the expectations of onlookers, including much of the Palace faithful.
Delaney was bought to Palace at the back end of the Summer transfer window in 2012 by Dougie Freedman. Having been released by Ipswich Town, the centre back claims he was close to walking away from the game completely. Two years on and you can bet he's glad he didn't.
His form in The Championship that season was superb and he became one of the unsung heroes in a team that ended up being promoted having been relegation candidates when the Irishman arrived in the August of that season.
Beating Watford at Wembley is one great memory in itself but if you break it down into little ones, the image of a crying Delaney being consoled by his mate, Peter Ramage, on the Wembley steps is one of the best. From Ipswich Reserves to the Premier League in nine months was quite the rise but it seems Delaney wasn't pleased to stop at that.
Damien Delaney has been a brilliant in the Premier League. It would be fair to say that many Palace fans questioned whether he would be found out at a higher level but having played over 40 games in the top flight, Delaney has proved he is more than capable of looking after himself in his new company.
There's no doubt that playing alongside Scott Dann has brought even better form out of Delaney. Their partnership is now one of the most important areas of the Palace team and when those two are up for it, strikers, even those of the highest quality, have to make and earn their chances.
Rumours are abound that a new contract is ready and waiting to be signed by Delaney. 33 in July, the centre back appears to be loving his football. In the instances that he brings the ball out to the halfway line, fans get a sense of how much he's enjoying himself; he can barely keep the smile off his face.
Despite only being with the club for two seasons, Delaney has become a firm fan favourite at Selhurst. Football fans of any club love a player who gives it their all and in Delaney, Palace fans have one of those.
You'd have to ask fans of Leicester, Hull, QPR and Ipswich if they had as much affection for 'Damo' as we seem to but Delaney certainly looks to relish representing Palace. Sometimes a player just fits a club and in the case of Palace and Delaney, that's exactly right.
Having got to a point where he may have just slipped off the football radar, hard graft and dedication has seen Delaney, in our red and blue, reach the peak of his career.
A career he very nearly walked away from.
How did Damien Delaney manage to turn things around after his Ipswich and Roy Keane hell? Here's Richard Foster
One of the outstanding memories from the Play-Offs victory in May 2013 was the sight of Damien Delaney overcome with emotion on the steps leading to the Royal Box as the team were preparing themselves for the presentation of the trophy. The fact that Delaney had to be comforted by Peter Ramage was all the more heartening as those two players epitomised the very attitude that brought about promotion. Neither are the most technically gifted players but their will and determination saw them through.
After the euphoria of Wembley began to wear off, the cold reality started to sink in that some of the players who had got us to where we were would not be of the required standard to survive the cut and thrust of the Premier League. Ramage and Delaney were two such players and whilst Ramage was ultimately eased out of the picture, Delaney was kept on at as first choice centre back. Much to many people’s (including myself I must admit) surprise he adapted extremely well to the higher standard of play and became the archetypal rock at the heart of a defence that proved itself so resolute after Pulis’ arrival in November.
Damo, as he is affectionately known, has proved himself on the big stage time and again and he should be appreciated for his steadfastness and solidity. When trying to judge players’ worth it is nearly always instructive to gather the opinions of fans of their former clubs. So, for example, the welcome Delaney received from Hull’s fans in the recent league match was warm and generous and in complete contrast to the other player returning to the KC Stadium, Fraizer Campbell who was roundly booed. It was clear that Damo had endeared himself to the City fans in his five years at the club and left in high regard.
Ipswich were the club who released Delaney on a free transfer in August 2012 from where we snapped him up and so I canvassed the opinion of Susan Gardiner, editor of the excellent fanzine Turnstile Blues. She is clear in her appraisal and sense of disappointment at his departure.
“I liked Damo. He had a great partnership with Gareth McAuley and I always felt he was better when partnered with someone he had a good understanding with. Very good in the air, his passing was not so great. However, it came as a surprise when Jewell said he could go…. It was yet another inexplicable Paul Jewell decision.”
Susan also pointed out that Delaney suffered a freak accident in pre-season in 2010 when a blood clot developed in his thigh that could have led to the loss of his affected leg or even death if he had not received emergency surgery to remove the clot immediately. Typically Delaney soldiered on with barely a mention of this dramatic and worrying incident. She went on to say that Ipswich fans were frustrated when he did so well at Palace but do not begrudge this likeable character his moment of glory.
But maybe we should leave the last word to a man who has been in the news over the last week for a series of personal tirades and rants. Roy Keane did admit in his recent biography that he made a mistake the way he treated Damo when he was manager at Portman Road. “Damien Delaney came in and did OK. I was hard on him, probably because I knew him and he was from Cork. I went over the top.” So for Keane to make such a rare admission is perhaps a fitting testimony to our Irish rock.
Richard Foster's first book The A-Z of Football Hates is now out and should be available at the club shop and online store soon or through Amazon, Waterstones, WH Smith etc. now.
If you support a club like Palace, you don't expect it to end up improving your health, you expect it to have the opposite effect, but on World Mental Health Day Matt Woosnam documents the positive impact on his mental health that supporting the club has had.
Football supporters often have a bad reputation amongst the general public, rightly or wrongly, but in amongst the rivalries, the (small elements of) hooliganism and the negativity, there is a positive side to football off the pitch.
Michael Kightly, Clarke Carlisle, Stan Collymore.
Three men who have something in common. Three men who know all too well the trials and tribulations of life, but perhaps most interestingly, the darkness that sometimes engulfs people.
They may, in Collymore and Carlisle's cases be former footballers, with Kightly still playing, but it does not make them immune from the realities of mental illness. It matters not the millions of pounds in the bank, the flashy sports car they rocked up to training in, the fact they are paid handsomely for their jobs does not prevent them from succumbing to the often crippling nature of mental ill health.
Whilst players may experience periods of depression and mental illness, take a look around the immediate vicinity of the football pitch. On the terraces, in the stands, even perhaps in the Directors' and Executive boxes, there are people who will be experiencing a mental health issue. Some more severe than others, some with different abilities to cope, but all brought together in one place, at one time, by one common interest. The love of a football club.
Some people will understand the details of what I am about to write, some will have an idea, and some will join the dots together.
Football clubs attract various types of supporters, from various backgrounds; wealthy, poor, young, old, able bodied, disabled. They all come together at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon, or indeed, with discussion forums including social media, throughout the week, to talk about their football team, to catch up with friends and to enjoy a match.
There is a community within a football club. The elation expressed when a goal is scored, highlighted by a thousand fists punching the air at roughly the same time, thousands of voices singing and chanting in unison to roar their team on to victory, or to lambast when things are going awry.
Now take a minute to process something. In a crowd of 25,000 roughly 6250 people will have, or will in the future, experience some sort of mental health issue. That's approximately the size of the Lower Holmesdale and a quarter of the Upper Holmesdale stands at Palace.
Football brings people together, for worse sometimes, and that's what gains all the attention. Supporters' misdeameanours are quickly highlighted, but the more positive side of football is not readily acknowledged. That is the spirit it creates, the friendships and the commaraderie.
Recently we at FYP published an article about why young people with depression should play football. Part of the reason they should is for the same reasons as supporting a football club, the community, the way people look after each other.
I cannot speak for anyone else, but supporting Palace and finding people who share a passion for the club in the same way as I do, has given me confidence in my abilities, it's helped me find people to talk to and it's changed my life. As an insular 16-year-old I joined a Palace supporters' forum. I had begun to write a blog on football but my confidence and my motivation deserted me. I spiralled into depression and lost the ability to strike together a decent paragraph, let alone an entire article. Gradually I came to find people who understood, or who offered an ear when I needed to talk about the loneliness, the darkness and the fear that had clouded my mind; and I began to attend away matches, make friends and find people who I had one main thing in common with - Palace. Twitter allowed me a wider scope to express my views to the listening community. I don't much care for the hashtag "CPFCFamily", but internally, I do agree that football clubs can create a feeling that is somewhat akin to having a second family. I owe a lot to HLTCO, the guys at FYP and Blossy for giving me renewed confidence in my writing ability and a platform upon which to showcase it.
The matches I attended, they themselves were a means of escapism, a way for me to release some of the frustration and anger that pent up inside for weeks, months, years. One of the most difficult periods of my life came in the run up to the match at Peterborough. It was my first experience on a terrace, and, for all the world it looked as though Palace had ensured that my misery was compounded; but two late goals to take us to the top of the league turned on the light inside my head, although only for a short time, it created a relief and a complete distraction from the happenings in my life. Something similar happened after victory over Brighton at the Amex in our promotion season, and had happened at Old Trafford in 2011.
Football has a role to play in improving the lives of people. Perhaps it is stating the obvious but at least, for me, the way in which a football club creates a community feeling and the way in which people who barely know each other are willing to help others, is unique. It offers an outlet, and one only need look at the huge success of the Crystal Palace Mental Health team to realise that behind all the negative headlines, football supporters can be compassionate, understanding and above all else, they showcase the positive aspects of humanity.
With September coming to a happy end with a home win against Leicester City, George Martin has a look back on Neil Warnock's first month back at the Palace.
Crystal Palace were thrown in at the deep end with the departure of Tony Pulis two days before the season kicked off in August. Whatever your opinion on the return of Neil Warnock as manager at the time the situation was clear; sink or swim.
I will confess to being sceptical of Warnock’s appointment, but a fruitful September which has seen a return of seven points from a possible nine has gone a long way to quenching my early-season fears.
Another highly impressive win over Everton at Goodison Park has shown the resilience of last season, and indeed the Championship season before remains at the club. The credit for this continued feel good factor must go to Warnock, who has come across calm, studious and calculated since returning to the club for a second spell.
Back to back wins are a precious commodity in the Premier League, a feat in which clubs tipped for relegation frequently struggle. To gain momentum at this early stage is a wonderful sign going into a tough looking October, which sees away trips to Hull and a resurgent West Brom sandwiched between the visit to Selhurst Park of an unstoppable looking Chelsea side.
Despite a strong month, it didn’t all start immediately to plan. The visitors for Warnock’s return to Selhurst Park were newly promoted Burnley, a side who do seem to be lacking Premier League experience and quality at this early stage. On paper, a very winnable fixture for the home side and a game in which the fans felt the players could express themselves in front of the new manager.
What followed was a frustrating afternoon for the Eagles. Despite managing sixteen shots on goal the home side saw Burnley enjoy the majority of the possession. Were it not for heroics by Julian Speroni after Jedinak conceded an 84th minute penalty, Warnock’s return to SE25 would have began with a confidence sapping defeat.
A disappointing home draw maybe, but the fact that it could have easily been worse combined with the resumption of normal service later on in the month ensured that any gloom hanging over Selhurst Park since Pulis’ departure was quickly lifted. Palace looked every bit the established Premier League team with an authoritative victory over in-form Leicester City on the 27th September which some may stretch to describing as ‘routine’.
The League Cup may have ended in disappointment, as it often does, with a 3-2 home defeat under the Selhurst lights a slight blip on an otherwise impressive month for Warnock. Even in defeat however fans found plenty of reasons to be optimistic; Palace remain unbeaten in 90 minutes under the new manager, and a debut goal for an over the moon Sullay Kaikai.
The worries have lifted and the classic Palace spirit remains. Well done and thank you Neil Warnock, for steadying the ship so quickly.