Hopkin Looking To Curl One…

A regular blog dedicated to Crystal Palace Football Club through the eyes of a fanatical supporter, contemplating everything from results to the colour of Stuart O'Keefe's boot laces…

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

The Daily Round-Up: The Deadline Looms…

I won’t be writing a great deal in the pre-cursor to today’s round-up, simply because the transfer window closing could render everything I say as wrong by the time I click on the “publish” button.

One thing that won’t change, is that the team put in a woeful performance against Huddersfield last night, lumping the ball long to Glenn Murray, getting into a number of scraps on the pitch and afterwards in the tunnel, and ultimately, coming away with no points for their troubles. More than 500 hardy souls made the trip, only to depart feeling completely frustrated with the whole experience. I saw a multitude of comments from people who were there, stating that it was our worst performance home or away in at least two years, a real worry, it must be said.

That was swiftly followed by the news that George Boyd had elected to move to Nottingham Forest over his supposed boyhood club, despite our board apparently matching the offer McLeish and his owners made to the midfielder in terms of a contract. For me, this was far more of a kick in the teeth than the result an hour or so before. I don’t profess to know how contract negotiations work with a player, but it did feel as though someone must have dropped the ball on our side of things for the situation to alter so rapidly. As long as Richard Cawley at the South London Press is correct in stating that we matched the financial package offered to Boyd by Forest, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, it’s more than a tad puzzling as to why he is now set to snub us.

With the current time at 1:12pm, I’ll sign off for today, in the hope of some positive news by the time the window closes. The latest I can gather, is that 83-year-old striker, Kevin Phillips has turned us down, which really is rather disconcerting.

Fingers and toes crossed for some better news later.

Here’s today’s round-up.


All the news from SE25 in the last 24 hours

After the enthusiasm sapping 1-0 defeat at Huddersfield last night, the last thing you’ll probably want to do is read about it, but if you’re glutton for punishment, the match report is here.

The first opportunity of the game fell Palace’s way to Yannick Bolasie nine minutes in but his shot from long range was pushed away by Alex Smithies in the Terriers’ goal, which was to be the only highlight of a scrappy opening 25 minutes as both sides battled for possession on a bumpy surface.

Despite enjoying the majority of the ball in the opening exchanges it took until the 28th minute for the home side to test Julian Speroni, and it came from a familiar foe when Neil Danns was played in by Adam Clayton but he shot straight at his former Eagles team-mate.


Mark Lillis was pleased with his team, as you would expect.

“I feel absolutely fantastic,” admitted Lillis. “The players have dug in over the last two games and shown what the Club is all about.

“It was a massive three points for us,” he added. “With the situation that we are in we need to start picking up wins and tonight was a big boost for us. The lads can enjoy tonight and then get back on it tomorrow for a very big game on Saturday against Derby.

“We got the tactics right. We managed to keep the likes of Zaha (Wilfried) very quiet tonight; they are a very good team and will be battling for promotion come the end of the season.”


Apparently, George Boyd is set to snub a move to Palace in favour of Nottingham Forest.

NOTTINGHAM Forest are close to snatching George Boyd from under the noses of Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day.

The Peterborough midfielder will hold talks at the City Ground this morning, with a view to making a permanent return to the Reds.

Forest have agreed a fee with Posh for the player, who had been expected to move to Selhurst Park after travelling to London for contract negotiations yesterday – with Palace also having had a bid accepted.

But Boyd is understood to favour a move back to Forest, where he has previously spent time on loan.


Jason Banton has moved to Plymouth Argyle on loan until March, hopefully he’ll get a few games down there.

Palace midfielder Jason Banton has today (31st January) joined Plymouth Argyle on a youth loan until March 2nd.

Banton made his Palace debut against Stoke in the FA Cup third round tie earlier this month and has been a consistently good performer for the club’s development side, scoring three goals in 12 games.

Banton Celebrating

The Daily Round-Up: It’s Taken A While…

Having mentioned the fluidity of the transfer market only yesterday, when we were being linked to moves for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Albert Adomah, it seems we’ve made a move for a highly thought of player, completely under the radar of the sporting media.

Last night, Peterborough’s chairman, Darragh McAnthony revealed that we had reached an agreement with Posh for the sale of George Boyd. The attacking midfielder, a lifelong Palace fan, was set to see his contract at Peterborough expire this summer and leave for free, but it seems Ian Holloway and the board have now come up with a figure that is acceptable to all parties involved.

With the personal terms and a medical the only hurdles remaining before Boyd can pull on a Palace shirt, it’s only right to look at where he will fit into our team in the long-term. As everyone is well aware, Boyd is an attacking midfielder, most suited it seems, to playing just behind a striker, whilst also more than capable of playing on either wing and cutting in as and when it’s deemed necessary.

It is this sort of versatility, which should prove useful to Ian Holloway as we approach the final weeks of the season, allowing for a changeable midfield shape that can utilise Boyd in a number of positions. It goes without saying that Zaha and Bolasie will remain the first choice wide men until the summer, whilst I would guess Jedinak and KG (when he returns from the African Cup of Nations) will continue to sit in front of our defence. This leaves only the attacking midfield role to fill, and whilst we have Moritz, Garvan, Jonny Williams and hopefully George Boyd competing for one position, you could be forgiven for thinking it may be a catalyst for unrest.

As things stand, Owen Garvan is sidelined with a relatively long-term injury, taking the dilemma over starting him out of Ollie’s hands. Andre Moritz, whilst showing that he’s more than capable of producing the goods with a dead ball, and possessing some sublime touches, seems to struggle with the demands of playing 90 minutes week in week out, and Jonny Williams is still a relative infant when it comes to the grind of first-team football in The Championship. Yes, he’s got the talent to be a success, but everyone at the club is rightly weary of pushing him too far, too soon.

Assuming Boyd signs, I can see him being given the starting role in the attacking midfield position, whilst the other three deputise as part of a rotation. With Boyd already 27 years old, he isn’t a signing we’ll be looking to nurture and encourage, he’ll have been earmarked as someone who can produce in the final third without a great deal of time to settle, whilst Williams will be given the time to recover in between appearances and build his fitness and experience up gradually.

A fair few fans have said that they were never completely convinced about Boyd’s ability, but I firmly believe he’ll be a great signing for us, if it all goes through. He’s the sort of player who’s capable of producing moments of magic when you least expect them, and I will certainly relish the opportunity to watch him play in a Palace shirt.

Here’s today’s round-up.


 All the news from SE25 in the last 24 hours

Here’s one of the many stories covering the George Boyd news from last night. Hopefully it’s all done and dusted today.

PETERBOROUGH chairman Darragh MacAnthony has revealed that they have agreed a fee with Crystal Palace for George Boyd.
The Posh winger – an Eagles fan growing up – has long been linked with a move to South London.
And now the Eagles, buoyed by the revenue of their deal with Manchester United for Wilfried Zaha, are closing in on the signature.
MacAnthony tweeted: “We have agreed terms with Crystal Palace for the transfer of George Boyd tonight. The player will now talk terms with Palace.


Steve Browett has spoken to the Croydon Advertiser, stating that although a bid for Boyd had been accepted, a contract was yet be agreed. He also mentioned the possiblity of more arrivals before the deadine.

“George Boyd is a player of interest. Peterborough offered him to us at a price we thought was too high, so we negotiated a lower price.

“As of Tuesday night, we hadn’t spoken to the player yet, so I think it was a bit premature for their chairman there to tweet about it – it’s not the way we like to operate until any transfer is completed.

“There were no tweets, press releases or comments from the directors at Palace on Wilfried Zaha until the deal to Manchester United was done, and it will be the same for George Boyd or any other player.

“We’re not going to comment on it until it happens. But it is true that they have lowered the asking price.

“We haven’t agreed to pay it, but that fee is now interesting and it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.”

Boyd, George Shouting

Huddersfield’s caretaker manager Mark Lillis says his players need to be “brave” in the style of their performance against us this evening.

“Palace are a well organised outfit who have some very good flair players; their manager will have them fired up for the game.

“We are well aware of their threats, but the players have to be brave enough to play like they did on Saturday. I want the players to want the ball and pass it because the fans will get behind them.”

Lillis was buoyed by their performance during their 1-1 FA Cup draw with Leicester.

“I really enjoyed the game on Saturday and I have taken a lot of confidence from it,” he told the club’s official website. “If the lads show the same amount of desire and enthusiasm then we have a chance against Crystal Palace.


Neil Danns has been speaking about his fondness for us, as he prepares to play against us for the Terriers. Mentioning the administration period as a lasting memory.

“We’d just arrived for a midweek game in Newcastle when we found out about losing the points,” he explained.

“It turned the season on its head, but we had some great leaders, like Sean Derry, Clint Hill and Alan Lee, and in Neil Warnock, a manager who is one of the biggest characters of them all.

“We had supporters staging protests in central London in a bid to keep the club alive, and we kept battling away so that we went into the final game of the season at Sheffield Wednesday needing a draw, which we achieved (Lee scored in the 2-2 stalemate).

“We only just avoided relegation, but it almost felt like we had won promotion.”


After his eventful appearance in our last game against him, Sean Scannell is desperate to play a part in this evening’s fixture. Hopefully he won’t cause as much controversy this time around.

Scannell, born and bred close to Selhurst Park in Croydon, was booed by the home fans after winning a penalty when Town drew 1-1 at Palace last month.

“The fans gave me some stick, but I was okay with that because it meant we were doing something right, and they came round by the end of the game,” smiled Scannell.

Crystal Palace (1) v Huddersfield Town (1) - Sean Scannell.

Jobi McAnuff has spoken to Five Year Plan about Wilfried Zaha’s progress, saying that the club deserve a huge amount of praise for his success.

Zaha completed a £15m move to Manchester United last week after playing more than 120 games for the Eagles and McAnuff, who saw a young Zaha in training while he was a Palace player, praised the work of the club.

He told FYP: “He was a young boy when I was there. I’ve played against him before as well and the boy seems like a great talent. Fair play to him because he has done really well and obviously he’s going to have a massive opportunity in the summer.

“But I think he’s got a lot of work to do with Palace and he’s been on record as saying that is important to him so that’s good to hear.”

He added: “A few have come through and they’ve got a great youth system. They recruit locally and there is some real good talent in inner city London areas, whether it’s south, north or east.

“Credit to them for the way they give young players a chance. Obviously the youth coaches do a very good job funnelling the into the first team and once they are there they can go and flourish.

“It’s great for a club like that because they have got good money for him it will help move the club forward.”


In other Palace academy news, Victor Moses scored both of Nigeria’s goals in their 2 – 0 victory over Etheopia. They will now face the Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations quarter-final.

Victor Moses converted two late penalties to give Nigeria a 2-0 win over Ethiopia on Tuesday and a quarter-final against Ivory Coast on Sunday at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Chelsea forward scored the first past Sisay Bancha after 80 minutes and the second past the midfielder Addis Hintsa who had to go in goal after the keeper was sent off for bringing down Moses in the penalty area.

Ethiopia had already used all three substitutes in their final Group C match and finished with 10 men for the second time in the competition after their keeper Jemal Tassew was also dismissed in their opening match with Zambia.

Victor Moses

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