Search for win and players continues: The last week at Selhurst

Last updated : 29 August 2013 By Daniel Smith


Whilst defeat against Tottenham left plenty of positives taken by all supporters, defeat at Stoke appears to have caused a bigger split in opinion, only affirmed by another loss as Bristol city dumped the Eagles out of the League Cup.

As soon as the fixture list was released, and for many even before this point, Stoke were nominated as a fellow relegation rival. This meant that facing them on the second game of the season away would be seen as an important game for Palace to lay down an early marker and show what they aim to do.

The first forty five minutes went according to plan but a short spell around the hour mark cost the team all three points.

They now find themselves in a position where Saturday’s home game against Sunderland, live on television sets globally, carries extra significance as the Eagles will want points on the board going into the international break.

Social media and online forums, the most common judge of opinion, seemed to suggest there were fans that were focusing on positives and others who were focusing on negatives. There are also those treading the fine line between the two, acknowledging both sides of the argument. It will be interesting to see the split after Saturday’s result.

Arguably the most interesting thing about this is not that it has happened, but how soon into the season it has happened. There was a time when the table wouldn’t be announced until after the third game, but things are different and more fast-paced now, with many a decision to match.

With owners that communicate with supporters through social media it will be intriguing to see if or how public opinion can change/influence decisions.

Some decisions that will need to be made in the next few days will be over transfers. Ian Holloway has laid his cards on the table for all to see – Palace need players in quick. There is no hiding that and so it will be up to Holloway and the owners to make sure as much is done by the deadline to strengthen the squad.

The manager has expressed the need for further attacking players, but one position that arguably needs strengthening is defence, and there is the potential for good news there as on Thursday the Croydon Advertiser confirmed via Twitter that Holloway had held talks with William Gallas.

Whatever people’s opinion of the defender he has vast experience to draw on and could do a job at the club. Holloway also confirmed talks with Reading’s Jimmy Kebe, which all suggests that he and the owners are trying their best.

Speculating about potential signings always helps to pass the time, but it must be remembered that “talks” do not mean anything with certainty. The owners are newcomers in the Premier League transfer market and the club with its wage structure may not be the most attractive option for experienced players.

Arguably this could have been something that put Joey Barton off a switch over London, as rumours suggested he was also on Holloway’s radar. That would have been a transfer with the potential to split opinion, but is something that the supporters do not need to worry about.

In a week’s time the transfer window will have closed, Palace will know what sort of a team they have until January and also what sort of a position they will be in in the table, as after the international break there is a trip to Old Trafford.

Between now and then there is going to be plenty to keep the supporters occupied.

Daniel Smith - @dmsmith1987