Gårdagens derby var verkligen ingen underhållande tillställning, vi var aldrig riktigt nära att hota Evertons defensiv på allvar. Bättring krävs på onsdag, då kommer ett formstarkt Crystal Palace till Liverpool, för den första matchen inför tomma Anfield-läktare. Som vanligt när det vankas match mot Hodgsons mannar har vi fått en inblick i laget från gänget bakom The Eagles Beak(@TheEaglesBeak).
1.Premier League has just restarted, what are your thoughts on this situation? Do you think it is the right choice to restart?
I’d be wrong to say I didn’t have reservations about sport returning in the UK let alone football. All the while there are still deaths being recorded due to this terrible disease, I felt it was difficult to start thinking about sport. Having said that, the Premier League has done extremely well with the organisation and all the right precautions being taken. It has helped to have the Bundesliga as a yardstick but they still had to implement things in the right manner and so far, everything has gone to plan. So while I was very dubious, I’m pleased to say that it is a good thing football is back even if it is different. It won’t be the same until fans are back in stadiums, but we will have to live with that for now.
2. Palace were on a good run before the break, how did you look in your first game back?
Very good. It was difficult to know exactly how it would go, that lay off is the longest any footballer would have known and will know most likely and with the very different environment footballers are now being asked to play in, it was always going to be a bit of the unknown. However, I’m pleased to report that it was back to business for the Eagles with a comprehensive victory over struggling Bournemouth to make it four wins on the spin. It sees the club break the 40 point barrier and an opportunity to look up with eight games to go rather than over our shoulder.
3. What do you expect from the team in the remaining games of the season?
It’s that old adage of stick or twist for a club like Palace. We have some tough games coming up but we are safe and fans are calling for some youth players to get a look in. If I know Roy Hodgson like I think I do now, all the while we have an opportunity to qualify for Europe then that will not happen, and rightly so. It may seem a bit confident to talk about European competition but that would be huge for a club like Palace. As soon as that is out of reach, then we can blood some of our talented youngsters but a top ten finish really must be a target at the very least.
4. Has anything changed in the way you play under Roy Hodgson this season?
Roy has done wonders for the club since he joined, you could say he is a perfect fit just like he was at Fulham and West Bromwich Albion. I know I am talking to a Liverpool fan base here, but you have to understand that this is his comfort zone at clubs like these. He has a track record and he is doing fine work with what he has at Palace, steadied the shop and given us some real stability. When his game plans work then they really do pay off. When they don’t, that is when the critics are at his door but he has done little wrong this season even if he is somewhat reluctant to make substitutions when we look like we need them, but what do we know! Roy has been fantastic for the club and it will be a sad day when he calls time on his tenure.
5. Which Palace-players has impressed you the most this season? Are there any disappointments?
Gary Cahill and Jordan Ayew. Cahill arrived on a free transfer from Chelsea, and I have to wonder why a top six side did not end up taking him as he has been brilliant for us. Meanwhile, Ayew is on the brink of hitting double figures in goals which may not sound much but for a club that does not score enough goals, to have one player putting them away is very satisfying. And for £2.5million has proven to be a steal. Notable mention to our goalkeeper Vicente Guaita who has won us points this season.
No real disappointments, perhaps injuries for James Tomkins and Mamadou Sakho keeping them out a lot and Max Meyer not coming on as we had hoped after a quiet first season last campaign.
6. What kind of game do you expect against Liverpool? What is most important for you to get a good result?
A difficult one, of course, but this Palace side heads to Anfield in good form and should have some confidence. Four wins in a row having not conceded a goal in that time shows we can be a difficult proposition, but most of there is some freedom about our play which could be dangerous when taking on sides that have something left to play for this season. Of course, I’d love Palace go to the champions elect and return with all three points to keep the run going, but I’d happily take a point.