Palace envy

I know this is really childish and tribal but I loathe crystal palace . When I was at university in bath 40 years ago , all my mates knew that I would refuse to meet them in the pub in the middle of the city because it was called the Crystal Palace. The feeling has never left me . I love richard Murray not only because he gave us the great years of promotion and the premiership , but also because he offered to take Simon Jordan outside and sort him out.
Watching palace is soooo depressing. They are really good , but the football formula is very straightforward and quite easy to copy. They have 2 proper wingers bolasie and puncheon (both of whom sir Chris tried to sign – what did he know hey ?) and a skillful man mountain in midfield jedinak. Apart from that the rest of them are probably no better than our players. We’ve got one half decent winger in gudmunsson and nobody very imposing in midfield.
To add insult to injury the football commentators are transfixed by the unique atmosphere at sainsburys selhurst. The place is a complete dump and generates so good an atmosphere partly because the stadium is so decrepit , people stand up because either they can’t see any other way , there aren’t any useable seats, or it’s impossible to sit down without getting splinters.
For god’s sake Big Bob ask uncle Roland to get you one if not two really tricky strong wingers and a hard man lynchpin in midfield and in no time at all we can be brushing aside some second rate Spanish full backs ,Portuguese Central midfielders playing for Liverpool , Tottenham, West Brom, etc, etc .

Negative Tactics from the boss

We should have played 2 up front yesterday and got after Millwall because they aren’t much good. Aside from Wigan & Derby at home , Bob seems to have retreated to the ‘lets always play like the away team’ tactic. That’s fine when you are actually playing away like at Reading, for example, when it worked a treat – although even there we actually played 2 up front.
Particularly if we are playing teams like Millwall and Sheff Weds, we should be taking the game to them because basically ( and their respective away records tell you this) they aren’t very good.
Harriott played really well at Reading, working well as a partner with Igor and is a handful for slow defenders. We then play against a poorer team than Reading and the game is at home , so I would expect us to be more expansive and positive but Bob drops Harriott and goes back to one up front to accommodate Coquelin. Its a mystery to me.
Anyway, a good atmosphere yesterday and at least we didn’t lose as per normal .
As an aside , Kermit scored goal of the century for Bournemouth yesterday , no surprises there – where would we be in the table if they’d managed to keep him and played him up front with Igor.
Top or nearly top I would say.

Wheels on our wagon

When I was young in the 70’s I used to go to Charlton most weeks and Millwall sometimes too. It was in the days when youngsters used to walk around the perimeter of the pitch with a tray selling chocolate bars, wagon wheels and fizzy drinks , like a cinema usherette . The incident that most convinced me that Charlton was probably the better club for me was when one of these young lads who was walking around the pitch at the Den suddenly disappeared into the crowd to be chucked back onto the pitch a couple of minutes later , unharmed , but minus his tray of wagon wheels , drinks and the money he had collected to roars of laughter from the cultured crowd. In terms of subsequent years of misery and underperformance on the pitch , choosing Charlton appears to have been the right shout , although Millwall did somehow get to an FA Cup Final , an unbelievable feat for which Denis Wise should have been recognised in the Queens honours list.

To my mind , if we were top of the Premiership and Millwall were languishing in 92nd place in the Football League , there is no more certain outcome in football derbies than a Millwall victory , particularly at the Valley. Maybe , just maybe , things will be different tomorrow , but I will be there expecting a familiar reverse and praying for salvation.

Nigel Adkins joins the 60% club

We had 600 shots , 20,000 crosses and 98% of the possession, how did we lose?
I might be exaggerating a bit , but he said something like that , didn’t he ? The Reading manager joins the long list of incredulous managers ( all of our wins and most of our draws) who can’t believe you can lose with 60% of the possession.
I must say contrary to some of the other bloggers present yesterday , I felt pretty relaxed , almost confident, all the way through yesterday.I think we should have won by more and obviously hugely influenced by my previous blog about Eskimo Harriot , Bob has sensibly returned him to first team action.

Sometimes you also wonder whether the managers do any preparation atall . So weve got 2 full backs , one is nigh on brilliant and impossible to beat , the other is young , inexperienced ( but promising) and doesn’t play regularly. If you were Reading , which one would you get after from the off , yes, you’ve guessed it – the brilliant, better than John Terry one.

With nearly everyone fit , I fancy us for a historic win against the spanners – there I’ve said it …………..aaarrrggghhhhh