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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 “April, 2013”

Crystal Palace Links: 30/04/2013

All the news from SE25 in the last 24 hours

The official site has a preview of tonight’s game up on the site.

The Lions have lost their last three games and have won just once in their  last seven in the league. Their home form has been woeful since the turn of the  year, winning just two Championship games at The Den since Christmas – and one  of those was a narrow victory over bottom of the table Bristol City on New  Year’s Day.
Millwall have found goals hard to come by this season. Chris Wood remains  their leading scorer with 11 despite signing for Leicester in the January  transfer window. Their other main goal threat in the first half of the campaign,  Darius Henderson, also departed in January for Nottingham Forest. Rob Hulse was  brought in on loan to bolster Kenny Jackett’s attacking options, but he failed  to register a league goal before heading back to parent club QPR. That leaves  the goal scoring burden firmly on the shoulders of Irishman Andy Keogh – and he  is currently on a barren run of 14 goalless league games.
A win for Millwall tonight would secure their Championship status for  another season.
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Has the FA Cup run been a distraction?

I’m not convinced that it has. A few of the players have suggested that it might have been, but I don’t really accept that as a valid excuse.

A couple of extra games does not account for Millwall’s form in the second half of the season. The problems run much deeper than that.

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Kenny Jackett has described tonight’s fixture as “must win” for the Lions.

Jackett told NewsAtDen: “If we go into the last day needing something we will do what’s needed, but it’s very, very important that we do get the job done on Tuesday.

“Palace are not on a great run but with two games left they’re in a play-off place, which constitutes a good season. The way they’ve handled the Wilfried Zaha situation has been excellent really.

“To be able to sell him and then keep him for the rest of the season and potentially finish off what is a crucial opportunity for them was a fantastic bit of business.

“He has obviously got a lot going for him as does Glenn Murray, who is another key player for them. Is it a good time to be playing them? Well, first off we need to play better ourselves.

“Our own performance, as much as analysing the opposition, is of paramount importance. I won’t disregard the other side’s strengths but at this level everyone has their strengths.

“We have to focus on ourselves. I don’t think there will be many changes from the Forest game – we have Danny Shittu and Shane Lowry back from suspension but otherwise it’ll be the same group.”

Jackett, Kenny 2

Matt Woosnam went to match our development squad as they took on Bolton Wanderers at Selhurst Park last night. His match report and tactical analysis is here.

Palace lined up in a very attacking formation, with suitably offensive personnel. A 4-2-3-1 formation saw Kwesi Appiah lead the line, but with support from Ibra Sekajja on the right and Jason Banton on the left. Reise Allassani found himself playing a central position just behind the striker, a position referred to as “in the hole”. Shielding the back four were regular performer Hiram Boateng, and also trialist Dean Parrett.

This was no ordinary trialist. With shades of John Bostock about him, the 21 year old blonde central midfielder is currently under contract with Tottenham, having signed for a fee potentially rising to £2m, from QPR aged just 15. However, he is out of contract at the end of the season so free to speak to potential new employers. Any indication that his attitude was poor, as alluded to by Swindon Town when he was sent back early from a loan, were dispelled by his exemplary level of effort and his dogged defensive work. Eager to run with the ball, the midfielder impressed by taking the game to Bolton, and his passing was a joy to behold, with both short and long balls reaching their target consistently. Most of Palace’s attacks came through Parrett, who linked up very well with Banton on the wing. His defensive work was not as clear or impressive, nevertheless, it was there.

Jason Banton played like a man with something to prove. High on confidence from his recent loan at Plymouth, he frequently looked to test Jay Lynch from distance, and was extremely unfortunate not to score. His pace caused problems, but it was his shooting accuracy which was most threatening for Bolton, who somehow kept him at bay.

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One player who featured in that game was Dean Parrett, and The Advertiser have a background piece on the Tottenham graduate.

He started out at Queens Park Rangers’ Academy before the north London club  came calling in 2007, and he went on to make his first-team debut in the UEFA  Cup against Shakhtar Donetsk in February 2009.

Parrett has also spent time on loan at five different clubs  so far in his early career, most notably at Charlton Athletic in 2011 and most  recently at Swindon Town.

A Palace source told Advertiser Sport: “Dean has come into train with us  since last Thursday after his release from Tottenham”.

“He’s come in on trial and he played well last night. We’re keen to have a longer  look at him in the next couple of reserve games.”

Parrett, Dean

 

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Crystal Palace U21s 0 – 1 Bolton Wanderers: Report & Analysis

A vastly improved performance from our U21s was not sufficient to prevent another defeat, as they went down by a single goal at the hands of former coach Jamie Fullarton’s Bolton side.

It was Wanderers who enjoyed the better start, with possession being retained well as they looked to press forward and pass the ball. A free-kick sailed harmlessly wide of Ross Fitzsimons’ left hand post whilst another wayward shot had looked dangerous at first, but proved to be little trouble.

Palace themselves then sought to attack, winning a corner after a good run down the left by Allassani. It was taken short, with the ball pumped into the box only to find the assistant referee’s flag raised for offside. The Eagles continued to dominate proceedings with Banton causing problems down the right, giving Appiah an opportunity but he dragged his shot the wrong side of the goal. Soon after, trialist Dean Parrett attempted to play Appiah in behind the Wanderers’ defence but a crucial interception was made to prevent the striker having a chance on goal. It was Parrett who was at the core of everything Palace did going forward. Regardless of the fact that he was being played as a deep lying central midfielder. He was not involved in the next attack as Jason Banton came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock. The recalled winger took aim from just outside of the area and his shot took a deflection, only to be palmed away strongly by Jay Lynch in the Bolton goal. Allassani then worked himself an opening in the area but saw his effort blocked by a defender.

Wanderers then created an opportunity of their own after a prolonged spell of Palace pressure. The impressive Tom Youngs took a shot at goal but it was deflected away for a corner. Whilst it came to nothing, it allowed them to relieve the pressure on their defence, which had thus far stood firm.

An uncharacteristic miscue from Banton wasted a good chance for Palace after Parrett played him in down the left, he cut in slightly taking aim at goal but firing well wide. Once more it was the Eagles who bombarded the Bolton goal, with the away team looking to fight back on the counter. An end-to-end game ensued to increase a somewhat slow tempo and spark some life back into the match. Centre-back Quade Taylor enjoyed a couple of forays well into the Bolton half taking on four and three players respectively before firstly passing to Sekajja who fired wastefully over, then in the second run he found some space but only managed a tame shot on goal.

Jack Sampson came extremely close to putting Bolton ahead after a teasing low cross was begging to be put away, but he failed to connect and Palace cleared their lines. A similar effort was nearly forced home for Palace by Allassani after good work down the left by Parsons. The match was level at 0-0 as the two teams headed back into the dressing rooms for half time, but in truth Palace would have been frustrated not to be in front.

It was Bolton who took the game to Palace early in the second half, with a number of shots on goal, some of which tested Fitzsimons who needed to be alert soon after, as some poor defending allowed Bolton to close in on goal. Whilst Palace had some chances of their own, Bolton were beginning to get on top, and it was they who took the lead late on in the second half. A counter attack through the centre saw exposed gaps in the Palace midfield and a superb cross into the area was chested down for Tom Youngs to volley low past Fitzsimons and put Wanderers a goal to the good. This was how the match ended, with Bolton snatching an undeserved victory, and Palace left ruing their lack of profligacy in front of goal as well as the impressive performance of Bolton ‘keeper Jay Lynch.

Tactical Analysis

Palace lined up in a very attacking formation, with suitably offensive personnel. A 4-2-3-1 formation saw Kwesi Appiah lead the line, but with support from Ibra Sekajja on the right and Jason Banton on the left. Reise Allassani found himself playing a central position just behind the striker, a position referred to as “in the hole”. Shielding the back four were regular performer Hiram Boateng, and also trialist Dean Parrett.

This was no ordinary trialist. With shades of John Bostock about him, the 21 year old blonde central midfielder is currently under contract with Tottenham, having signed for a fee potentially rising to £2m, from QPR aged just 15. However, he is out of contract at the end of the season so free to speak to potential new employers. Any indication that his attitude was poor, as alluded to by Swindon Town when he was sent back early from a loan, were dispelled by his exemplary level of effort and his dogged defensive work. Eager to run with the ball, the midfielder impressed by taking the game to Bolton, and his passing was a joy to behold, with both short and long balls reaching their target consistently. Most of Palace’s attacks came through Parrett, who linked up very well with Banton on the wing. His defensive work was not as clear or impressive, nevertheless, it was there.

Jason Banton played like a man with something to prove. High on confidence from his recent loan at Plymouth, he frequently looked to test Jay Lynch from distance, and was extremely unfortunate not to score. His pace caused problems, but it was his shooting accuracy which was most threatening for Bolton, who somehow kept him at bay.

Palace employed the tactics that suited them best; a mixture of short, snappy passes and the occasional long diagonal ball. The difference to the first team being that the midfielder making most of the passes was accurate and injected pace into the game. Short corners were also a notable aspect of Palace’s tactics, something seen in the U18 game recently, although they were not so successful here.

A much improved performance, with plenty of positives to take.

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