Deadline Day is creeping closer and Tottenham are still sniffing around Palace's star winger.
But Eagles owner Steve Parish would be surprised if Bolasie did go to White Hart Lane.
And he admitted it would take crazy money for the Congo winger to leave Selhurst.
Speaking to BBC Five Live he said: "You can never say. If someone offers crazy money.
But added: “It would take an extraordinary bid at this stage of the transfer window. We are confident he will still be a Crystal Palace player at the end of the transfer window.”
Everyone at Palace is hoping Bolasie stays with the Eagles second in the table following a brilliant start to the 2015/16 season.
Few would have imagined the pandemonium that followed Saturday's final whistle prior to the match - but a monumental performance saw the Eagles through. Mark Gardiner takes a detailed look at the Palace display.
I’ve seen some of football’s great citadels fall to the Palace – Old Trafford, Highbury, the Withdean... so it was about time Stamford Bridge joined that list. Two hoodoo’s dating back to the 1980’s dispelled in one week (actually Shrewsbury is still the one to wake me in cold sweats). And I thought the highlight might be “Jose is a Palace fan” bringing applause from Mourinho himself. I did try & talk Big Tone out off putting cold hard cash on Palace to win 2-1 on Friday... better start running now.
To start with the opposition, as Match of the Day surely will, crisis-club Chelsea lined up in a familiar 4-2-3-1 formation, although whether two holding midfielders would be required against Palace strokes me as excessively cautious. And while the formation mirrored Palace, it lacked two crucial components in a pair of proper wingers. Chelsea were often denied width, or required the likes of Costa to run wide, and rarely made the crosses that defences hate; only once did they fire in a good early cross and that saw Falcao score. Palace, of course, have wingers aplenty, the latest a free transfer from Wolverhampton. I can just imagine Roman wondering where this Black Country is & why he spent so much on Pedro, who never approached any of our trio’s impact on the game.
We are also witnessing that extreme oddity: a Jose Mourinho team with an Arsene Wenger midfield, all trippy-tappy, edge of the box stuff. There is a Frank Lampard shaped hole in the middle of that team. And Costa may be an aggressive sod but he lacks that efficient brutality that Drogba brought. Could be worse though – you could be standing in the rain stuck in a queue outside a tube station and you’ve just lost at home... oh, you are...
Pardew made one change from the Villa match with fit again Wickham replacing Murray, who didn’t even make the bench (any offers?). Originally the midfield three lined up with Zaha on the left, Puncheon on the right and Sako in the middle. What this did give us plenty of attacking prowess down the left with Souaré & Sako joining Wilf, put often left us lacking an out ball on the right. As against Villa this was changed at half time with Wilf switching to the right, Sako the left and Puncheon down the middle, which looked more natural. Later, when Zaha was taken off, Sako switched to the right with Bolasie down the left. You really had to feel for poor Ivanovic who had to face all three of our flying wingers! The holding midfield of Cabaye & McArthur worked like Trojans in closing down, hassling, tackling & throwing in the odd foul, while the wingers were extremely diligent in their defensive duties. Dann & Delaney continue to show all the flimsiness of a granite boulder, while McCarthy turned in a performance that showed perhaps why he got the nod ahead of Hennessey, and why Julian may not walk straight back into the team.
Palace played with a high line, meeting Chelsea on the halfway line and gradually dropping back if the Blues made any serious progress. There won’t be many highlights of the first 30 minutes but that doesn’t mean it was boring – if anything it was engrossing watching the work put in to deny Chelsea space while looking to hit on the break. Wilf started brightly and soon worked a cross in that ended on the roof of the net, while Chelsea’s only realistic chance saw the underwhelming Pedro shoot just wide. Palace played some good passing football at times and had a good spell around the half-hour, Sako cutting in from the left and seeing his shot saved, then Zaha set up a chance that was spurned by Cabaye – from 15 yards out he had all the goal to aim at but put his shot too close to Courtois. Sako had another half chance before Chelsea had their first real spell of pressure, a fine double save from McCarthy aided by Dann and some interference from Delaney, before Matic waltzed through a defence that seemed frozen in place only to offer an even weaker effort than Yohan.
The second half was just as balanced at the start before again Palace had a good spell, some good work by Zaha & Wickham prompting some panic in the Chelsea box, Wickham just failing to reach a cross from Sako, who then forced another save from Courtois with an accurate low shot. Again the momentum swung, Delaney blocking three crosses / shots with the family jewels inside a few seconds, then Puncheon lost the ball in midfield which allowed Pedro to get a shot in that was blocked, before Souaré headed off the line from the following corner. Palace’s response was swift & deadly: Bolasie, on for Zaha, linked well with Souaré down the left and the cross was finished off at the second attempt by Sako. A state of mild delirium ensued in our end. It nearly got far better, as Puncheon mis-hit a volley from a promising position, then Bolasie missed a great chance on the end of a cross from Sako, before nearly making amends with a curling shot that just missed.
We did fear that we would regret these chances, Yannick’s first miss in particular, and as Mourinho threw on attackers (including that rare sighting of a rare young Englishman) for defensive veterans the game again began to tilt back towards the Blue corner. For the first time Pedro got into position to deliver a great cross and Falcao beat Delaney with a diving header that zipped in at McCarthy’s near post. Palace veterans now began counting down to Chelsea’s certain late winner (Hazard penalty, perchance?) but instead the team showed an application and attitude that bodes well for this season. They didn’t bemoan their fate but got straight back onto the front foot, Bolasie again dismantling Chelsea’s right-side defence; his fine right-footed cross was met at the far post by Sako who disdained a shot for a dinked ball back that was finished off by, of all people, our right back on the six-yard line.
This change in circumstances was met with a distinct lack of decorum in the upper tier; hats were removed in the presence of ladies and I suspect strong liquor may have been imbibed. Chelsea strove to hit back, with winger Kenedy playing at right back suddenly asking all sorts of awkward questions, and McCarthy amid some goalmouth scrambles had to make a fine save from Fabregas, while Dann blocked another late effort. Yet Palace still finished on the front foot, breaking away and running the clock down. At the end they deserved the three points for skill, attitude and sheer cussedness.
McCarthy – 8 – The double save: last season Julian was blamed for pushing shots back towards the attackers; sometimes just making the save itself is all the keeper can do, and Alex’s priority with the first shot was to stop the ball going in. To get back up and block the second effort (admittedly with a little help from Dann) was brilliant. He made some other good saves too, especially a late one from Fabregas, and also commanded his box most of the time (he did get lost under one far post corner). Would be harsh to blame him for the header that beat him on the near post – so don’t!
Ward – 7 – We are holding on for a point and what the heck was our right back doing in their box – hell, in their half! Seriously, Joel now has as many goals this season as all our strikers put together (two penalties) but few will be as sweet. It summed up the approach of the team. Fairly quiet otherwise as Chelsea didn’t show much on the left until Kenedy’s arrival but there was a good block when Costa set Pedro free.
Souaré – 7 – Another fine display including involvement in the first goal and clearing off the line. Defensively did well until Pedro got in the cross for their goal. Increasingly looks a good purchase.
Dann – 8 – Made a couple of mistakes in possession that weren’t expensive, but pretty faultless otherwise, putting in late blocks in both halves, and made plenty of clearing headers.
Delaney – 9 – Will not be swapping Christmas cards with Costa this year. Played one poor ball out and was just beaten by Falcao for their goal, but I lost count of the number of times Damien just simply got in the way of the Chelsea machine. Forget £50m for Stones, Mourinho may be spotted skulking around Beckenham way next week with Mr. Abramovich’s cheque book prominent.
Cabaye – 7 – Much of his work is missed as it is positional defensive work, but Yohan does it so often & so well that we can say Jedinak wasn’t as missed as we had feared. His passing is better, although his set piece delivery was mostly disappointing, and he really shouldn’t have made our best chance of the first half so easy for the keeper.
McArthur – 7 – Same role and performance from Jimmy, kept running right to the end.
Puncheon – 7 – Flitted in & out of the game, not seen much down the right in the first half as often slid infield, where he made some good touches. More prominent in the second half when he could have scored one & created one, but also lost possession cheaply in the middle to set Costa away. Ran out of steam towards the end but did provide an overhead flick & back heel in one glorious scene.
Zaha – 7 – Tormented Ivanovic in the first half but with little return except for creating a great chance for Cabaye. Worked terribly hard defensively, even if I wish he wouldn’t follow that up by trying to slip between two opponents 15 yards inside our half (works in the Championship, Wilf, but perhaps not here). I was surprised he was taken off as he was looking dangerous down the right.
Sako – 9 – Did we really pick this beast of a player up on a free from Molyneaux? Has someone swapped Pedro & Sako over? Scored one, helped make another, and nearly grabbed another tow as well as setting up a good chance for Yannick. Did look more effective out wide than through the middle, but he tended to drift left anyways.
Wickham – 7 – A future quiz question as the only player to feature in the two teams that Beat Jose in the League at the Bridge. Hard day as was mostly controlled by Cahill, but especially in the second half held the ball up well.
Bolasie – 8 – Poor Ivanovic: Sees off Zaha; gets run over by Sako; then looks up & sees Yannick bearing down on him. Provided the crosses for both goal and could have scored two himself. What an impact player!
Ledley – 6 – Late sub for Cabaye who had run into the ground, and provided solidity as well as two good clearing headers.
Lee – 6 – Even later sub for Sako who helped run the clock down.
In response to our letter to Norwich City FC regarding their ticket prices, FYP received a reply from their CEO, David McNally. The letter, dated 07/07/2015 was subsequently delayed in transit and only received this week. We have decided to publish it in full, with our thanks to David for taking the time to respond.
To all at Five Year Plan Fanzine,
Many thanks for your e-mail and open letter which I received this weekend and for the considered view and arguments you took the time to put forward. Apologies by the way for the somewhat impersonal address above, but no individual names were listed in the letter I received. Let me say we do of course have real sympathy with those who may find the cost of supporting their team to be a challenge at times and we are always extremely grateful for the fantastic loyalty and backing shown to this club by Norwich City supporters here in Norfolk and further afield.
We remain in turn totally committed to supporting our first team and serving our supporters, not least by always endeavouring to provide them the best possible value for the money they give their football club.
l'd like to mention some key points which we believe are worth bearing in mind when considering our ticket pricing policy. There is a unique financial backdrop which affects our ticketing strategy at Carrow Road, which we think it is only fair to consider when evaluating our pricing for any given match.
NCFC's Non-benefactor financial model
In Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones we believe we have the best owners in football, but not by any means the wealthiest. Unlike the majority of clubs in the Premier League, we do not have any ad-hoc sums of cash coming into our bottom line over and above the television incomes you refer to - except for any income we can responsibly generate ourselves as a business.
Thanks to this and, of course, to the Financial Fair Play rules, we cannot spend on the team sums which outweigh what we can generate ourselves. In order to compete with our counterparts in the Premier League and to give us the best chance of continuing to provide Premier League football to the people around the county of Norfolk, therefore, we work to a strong co-operative model. The commitment we make to our fans is that every spare penny we generate goes back into football to support our manager Alex Neil's work on and off the pitch.
22,000 season tickets at Carrow Road
We have once again capped our season ticket sales at 22,000 for games at Carrow Road next year. This means that more than 80 per cent of the crowd present at our games are season ticket holders, who will this year be enjoying Premier League football at a massive discount - with adults paying £26.28 per match in most standard areas and Under-12s in family areas just £3.67 per game.
Despite the fact that season ticket income is clearly a key revenue stream for us, we froze our prices this campaign for a second consecutive season as a thank you to our fans for their loyal support in recent years. Carrow Road will have one of the highest proportions of season ticket holders as a percentage of overall capacity (in our case c27,000) compared to other grounds in the Premier League next season - and therefore one of the highest proportions of fans watching at a significantly discounted rate.
Committed to supporting our travelling fans
Like your own club Crystal Palace and the other clubs in the Premier League, we will be committing resources this year to assist our fans who follow us up and down the country in huge numbers via a range of initiatives. ln the past these have included substantial ticket and coach travel subsidies and we will be announcing this season's initiatives in due course.
Away facilities - excellent standard
Unlike some of the comparable facilities found at other grounds, the away section at Carrow Road offers unrestricted views from every seat - and a choice of positions ranging from pitchside to a more elevated vantage point. None of the seats are in an upper tier hundreds of yards from the pltch as is the case at some clubs. The catering and toilet facilities are also of an excellent standard.
Price grading system - designed to fill Carrow Road
Our price grading system has not changed in many years now and is designed to enable us to flex the price depending on the opposition and other factors, such as the date of the game, whether it's our first match back in the Premier League following an exciting promotion campaign and so on. lt's worth remembering that under league rules the prices we charge away supporters are also the casual prices we charge our fans in comparable home areas.
Our strategy is always to set casual prices which help us to achieve our overall objective, which is to sell out Carrow Road. Our record in this regard in recent seasons, in both the Football League and the Premier League, has been very good and this is something we are very keen to maintain.
Norwich City v Crystal Palace - sold out
Our opening Premier League game against your club, Crystal Palace, on August B is, I'm pleased to report, already another complete home sell-out. Crystal Palace have taken their full allocation in the away end.
I hope the points raised above help to explain our pricing strategy not just for the Crystal Palace match in August, but generally. Sometimes it can be easy to single out a particular game and criticise the pricing policy without taking into account other extenuating factors. For example, we have been criticised by fans of one or two clubs for our prices at Carrow Road, only for our fans to be charged similar prices when they visit the clubs in question - and in the Premier League there may well be some clubs who charge our fans more to visit their grounds than is the case for the return fixture at Carrow Road.
Thank you once again for taking the time to share your views so eloquently and your passionate support for your club is clear for all to see. I very much hope you will be coming to support them at Carrow Road on August 8, when l'm sure a full Carrow Road will generate a fantastic atmosphere which will be a credit to both clubs and to the Barclays Premier League.
Chief Executive Officer
Norwich City Football Club
Need some Palace chat in your life? Of course you do! And fear not, because the FYP podcast is here!
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The boys chat Aston Villa, Shrewsbury and Chelsea.
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We've not seen much of Mile Jedinak in the Palace side, and there's a belief among some fans that he's much missed. Jack Pierce takes a look at the issue for us.
When Mile Jedinak arrived in SE25, Palace had just avoided relegation to English football's third tier.
Four year on and Palace have begun their third season in the Premier League and are looking upwards.
Since the end to last season, there has been a lot of talk about what's in store for the skipper and whether he has a future in red and blue. As far as I'm concerned, 'Jedi' remains one of the club's most important players and figures.
Competition for places in Alan Pardew's preferred three man midfield has never been fiercer and with the likes of Yohan Cabaye walking through the door, the calibre of midfielder has never been higher.
Joe Ledley , James McArthur, Jordon Mutch and Jason Puncheon along with Jedinak and Cabaye are all looking for a starting berth in Palace's engine room and all have their merits. Unfortunately for them, seven doesn't go into three. While Mutch, Cabaye and Puncheon can play further up the field, at this moment in time it seems the Australian is in direct competition with McArthur and Ledley for starts.
Ledley, a player of huge worth since signing 18 months ago, hasn’t even made the bench for the first two games of the season.
Jedinak himself has been on the bench against Norwich and Arsenal but will have known that his starting place now isn't as secure as it had been during the past two campaigns. Pardew's clearly looking for a more pleasing style on the eye - a style in which the likes of Cabaye, Puncheon and McArthur should and hopefully will excel in. Jedinak's approach, despite being very effective, isn't based upon neat passing and hitting teams on the break, the team's most impressive features of Pardew's 21 league games in charge.
Pardew’s given the impression that he rates the Aussie skipper; he's spoken very highly of Jedinak in the past. That said, Pardew has recently stated that Cabaye will be the player he speaks to most during games; a role that the Aussie undoubtedly had under Messrs Holloway, Pulis and Warnock.
The defensive midfielder’s stats for the last two seasons have been outstanding. He's often topped Premier League lists regarding most successful tackles and interceptions. He's done what many don't and won plaudits for doing the uglier side of the game very well. Under Pulis, he was exceptional and provided a vital cog in the well driven machine that the baseball capped one turned Palace into.
A key turning point came last January. While the form his club showed while he was away captaining his country at The Asia Cup pleased all Palace fans, it did highlight that Palace could win top flight games without Jedi's presence at the base of midfield. Ever since that run of games, there has been an air around the club that Jedi's role isn't as vital now as it was when we first came up.
Cabaye's signing has signalled the next stage of the club's evolution but that isn't to say Jedinak shouldn't and doesn't have a role in and around the squad.
During his time in South London, Jedinak has become highly regarded both domestically and internationally. As his national side's captain, he's led his country at a World Cup as well as to victory in this year's Asia Cup. Such experience and leadership can only help a changing room of players on the verge of doing something very special. If managed well and with a little luck, this Palace side could become the most heralded in the club's history.
A character like Jedinak will remain vital in a squad in which expectation will be heightened and that's without contemplating the impact he can still have on the pitch. There aren't many better defensive midfielders in the league.
On Sunday, against a quick passing Arsenal side, we could’ve benefitted from Jedi’s presence in front of the back four. If not from the start, when Yannick Bolasie was withdrawn at half time, the Aussie would’ve tightened things up with the impressive Cabaye slotting in behind Connor Wickham. Instead, the introduction of Jordon Mutch did nothing to add any steel to the Palace midfield and Arsenal continued to move the ball at will.
Whether it's from the start of games or coming on later and shoring things up in matches we're ahead in, our captain can still play an instrumental role in any success we might have ahead of us.
Nobody will believe that more than the man himself.
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