A defeat for Crystal Palace in the first game of the new Premier League season and as unhappy fans in their replica shirts trooped back to Inside Croydon Towers, the glum expressions reflected the realisation that the problems of last term remain.
“That’s got to be the earliest ‘Pardew out’ mutterings yet,” said one fan after watching West Brom, managed by former Palace boss Tony Pulis (ouch), win 1-0.
In a game with few chances for the home side, the key moment came midway through the second half, when Wilfried Zaha broke free and had an effort on goal but failed to score. “After that, all confidence just seemed to leak out of our players,” said our man from the Holmesdale End, cracking open another consolatory can of lager. “And we conceded from a set-piece, again. So no change there, then.”
The fans’ frustrations are shared by Alan Pardew, Pulis’s successor, who is also having to cope with the on-going speculation over the possible £25 million transfer to Everton of Yannick Bolasie, one of his better performers last season.
Pardew described the afternoon’s entertainment as “a horrible game for us”, but was unable to update on any possible signings before the summer transfer window slams shut at the end of this month. “We ain’t got news,” he said.
Pardew appears reluctant to part with his pacy midfielder, but he also explained that while the speculation continues – he maintained on Saturday that there’s been do deal agreed – he will find it difficult to find a place in his starting line-up for the player. “His heart and soul might not be with us,” Pardew said.
“If he goes, we’ll miss him.”
Listen to the rest of Pardew’s post-match interview here:
[Apologies to Apple users – the audio is available in Flash format and therefore not compatible with your iPhone or iPad]
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