Woosie's Words: Crystal Palace will relish their role as underdogs
The season is finally underway. On Sunday Ian Holloway’s Crystal Palace started their first Premier League campaign in eight years with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Tottenham.
Many pundits have already written us off but how will the Eagles fare this season?
The signing of Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh will have gone some way to easing the fears of fans regarding Palace’s somewhat powderpuff strikeforce. Aaron Wilbraham performed well during his brief appearances, but he is not a renowned goalscorer. However, Chamakh’s goalscoring record is not the stuff of dreams, it is though, an improvement on Wilbraham’s. The importance of having an international striker with plenty of high level experience will show through this season, whilst hopefully the Moroccan can aid Dwight Gayle who is sure to start alongside him this year.
Palace’s record signing has a large price tag to live up to, but he has proven that he has an uncanny ability to adapt to a higher level with relative ease. The Premier League is a different proposition however, and the former Peterborough man will have to step up another gear to impress in this league.
The midfield at Selhurst Park is well stocked. Spanish under-20 captain Jose Campana will be seeking to make his mark in the Premier League, whilst Jonny Williams will look to push on at a higher level and dazzle supporters with his quick feet and intelligent play. Last season’s captain Mile Jedinak has an integral role to play, and his form will help decide whether Palace finally break their hoodoo and manage more than one season in the Premier League.
In the centre of defence Danny Gabbidon and Peter Ramage both have Premier League experience which will be vital, whilst Joel Ward is sure to hold down the right-back slot. On the other side Jonathan Parr and Dean Moxey will vie for the left-back position.
Having narrowly missed out on the signing of Darren Bent, Palace may be looking for another striker. Provided the club brings in at least one more experienced, high quality defender alongside a new striker, there is half a chance that the Eagles could defy the odds once again, relish the underdog tag, and avoid relegation.
It’s going to be a challenging season, but this is Palace and if there’s one thing that they do best, it is being the underdog and surprising people. A 17th placed finish is not beyond Palace.
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