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 tag “Jason Puncheon”

Wickham’s Potential Arrival Paves The Way For Murray To Move On

The impending arrival of Sunderland striker Connor Wickham at Crystal Palace could well signal the end of the road for Glenn Murray at Selhurst Park, with the Cumbrian thought to be unsure over his long-term role in Alan Pardew’s plans.

With Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth thought to be heavily interested in taking the 31-year-old to the Goldsands before the transfer window closes, a fee could well be agreed between the two clubs within the next day or so, now that Wickham is on his way to SE25 for talks over personal terms, which alongside the loan signing of Patrick Bamford, gives the Eagles a decent talent pool with which to attack the new Premier League campaign.

Whilst Murray’s form last season proved beyond all doubt that he was good enough to mix it with the country’s best from week to week, his advancing years have understandably led the club to look further afield for a long-term replacement, with Wickham possessing many similar attributes at the age of just 22; not that it will make it easy for many of our fans to wave goodbye to Glenn.

Although the former Brighton man only signed a new contract with the club last season, big money deals for many of his teammates since, alongside the arrival Yohan Cabaye and Patrick Bamford in recent weeks have seen Alan Pardew and Steve Parish moving the club in a new direction, with Murray understandably wary about being forced to spend the majority of his time on the bench between now and January.

At Bournemouth, his goal-scoring prowess and top flight experience would be much welcomed by Eddie Howe and his players, as they do their best to navigate their way through the club’s maiden Premier League campaign without hitting a roadblock. He may not start every week, with Callum Wilson having just agreed a new long-term contract with the Cherries himself, but he could be sure that his influence would count for a great deal amongst a squad who are refreshingly eager to learn what it takes to survive in what is arguably Europe’s most competitive division.

Parting ways with Glenn would be extremely difficult, but for the man himself, it would be an understandable move, given the limited time he has left in the game.

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Pardew Dreaming Of A Fifth Placed Finish For Palace This Season

Whilst almost every Palace fan on the planet would be more than happy to see the team replicate last season’s efforts and secure a tenth placed finish next term, Alan Pardew is dreaming big, suggesting that his players can challenge everyone below the top four.

Clearly buoyed by the performance his team put in against Sporting Lisbon on Sunday, the 54-year-old now feels that his squad is ready to push on, with his comments alluding to the fact that our transfer business isn’t over for the summer, as we attempt to strengthen an already capable group with real quality.

He said:

We can compete with any team below the tier of the top four when we have our full team available.

“The important thing for us is how our injury record is going to maintain because last season we had hardly any injuries to our key players.

“If we keep our key players fit that’s going to be essential for us and we can compete against anyone below the top four when we have out full team.

“What we are trying to do now is strengthen our squad so that the players that come in do not weaken us. That is the direction our recruitment is going to take.”

It is quite remarkable to hear Pardew speaking in such glowing terms about a squad who, immediately before his arrival, were staring the possibility of relegation from the Premier League square in the face, but in truth, there really is no reason for us not to kick on over the next few months.

Despite the shocking start we had last season, the boss will know that we were a mere eight points away from finishing in eighth and just 12 off qualifying for Europe at Southampton’s expense, giving him reasonable hope of pushing the players towards further successes between now and next May, should we be able to bring some genuine consistency to our game.

Usually, it’s the job of a manager to reign in the expectations of an excitable fanbase, but in this case, Pardew is encouraging everyone to dream big. It’s a bold move to say the least.

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