Ask The Opposition 2019/20: Crystal Palace (Premier League - Home)

Damien

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Back by very popular demand is the return of Ask The Opposition. Our segment where we ask fans of opposing teams forums some questions and post a selection of the responses back on here.

This week, I went to Crystal Palace subreddit r/crystalpalace and asked some questions. Thanks to all of them for responding.

Our next game after this is against Southampton and the newbies are tough to get questions from, so if any of you have any questions you'd like to be asked, please contribute. Would be much appreciated.

Q01: What on earth happened in the transfer window? Why do you think you invested so little money into the squad and what do you make of the players you did sign?
fhor: I think it's our owners, outside of Parish the Americans want to sell their 49(?)% share, and are not willing to put any more money into the team.

peacockypeacock: The club needs to get its finances in order a bit, plus I don't think they wanted to give Hodgson a big budget when he is almost certainly in his last season. With that said, missing out on any striker or RB was pretty terrible. The players that were brought in are good depth at the right price. Camarasa is the only one that could be an upgrade over our best XI.

EnzoScifo:
2 things. 1 we're broke, 2 our scouting leaves a lot to be desired. AFAIK we are still making payments on transfers like Benteke & van Aanholt as well as paying them sizabale wages, and that runs all the way through the squad. I imagine though there may bave been about £30m to spend this summer but as with every summer transfer window we played a roulette trying to get a good last minute deal and ended up with feck all.

dontsteponthecrack:
We don't have enough of a scouting network or infrastructure to manage what we need. Years of under investment and fluking it. While people are dealing with you guys selling AWB, no one is actually out getting deals ready to bring players in. We're also trying to build a stadium improvement, which requires cash, so I don't think we were ever gonna spend 1:1 in terms of what we received. I think it's worth adding that we're also trying to balance books / lower the wage bill v player value on the books....Sakho, benteke, zaha, Meyer are all paid more than we can afford given the lack of return from 3 of those 4.....only Sakho produces at that level, zaha possibly coming close. We over paid for average players - schlupp and van aanholt are overpaid thanks to our dire need to add certain types of players when they were signed. We've no idea how much we have paid Chelsea in recent years for loanees, but I am sure michy wasn't cheap, nor Remy or loftus cheek....we haven't leveraged our London site nor our 6 years of EPL to build a decent squad that could lose one or two players and survive.

MadCuntCuddles:
Should have signed a new RB and a striker. Didn't sign any young players. Didn't need to sign so many CMs.

Q02: Roy Hodgson has done a reasonable job at Palace but you have not had a great start to the new season. Do you see him getting much time? And in general is he popular among Palace fans? (question provided by @Reditus)

fhor: He is popular when we win and hated when we lose. I personally have faith in him. What he did in the 17/18 season is proof enough.

peacockypeacock: This is really down to the schedule. After United, Palace has a stretch of 4 games where they need to pick up points (Villa at home, Spurs away, Wolves at Home, Norwich at home). After that the schedule gets incredibly difficult (West Ham away, City at home, Arsenal away, Leicester at home, Chelsea away, Liverpool at home). If the team doesn't pick up some real points by the end of September I think Hodgson will need to go, otherwise the team risks being deep in the relegation zone heading into December.

People are very split on Hodgson. I am in the camp of getting him out ASAP.

EnzoScifo: Roy was very popular over the summer when there was a bit of a bunker mentality going on. When the games started though, particularly the Sheff Utd game a lot of fans remembered why they didn't like him the previous season. Personally I think he's the best man for the job, and I reckon we'll need to be cut adrift before the club would be looking to fire hime.

dontsteponthecrack: They won't sack Roy unless we're adrift at the bottom, which seems possible but unlikely.

MadCuntCuddles: Nobody will want him out this season if we're not in the relegation zone. Might well be if the SHU performance is anything to go by. Hopefully that was SHU just playing so well they made us look bad, cos that was the worst performance since Frank de Boer.

Q03: What are your thoughts on the Wan-Bissaka deal? Do you think you got a good fee for him and how do you think he will do for United? (question provided by @Solius)

fhor: Good deal, he will be fantastic for you. I miss him dearly. Joel Ward just isn't as exciting.

peacockypeacock: Great deal for all parties. AWB will thrive at United, United will benefit greatly from having a solid back 4, and Palace could use the transfer fees more than a star RB. However, it would have been nice if Palace invested some of the proceeds into a replacement.

EnzoScifo:
20/20 hindsight we should have milked you for another £10m. I rckon he'll be your starting rb for years to come but some of the shine may wear off soon.

dontsteponthecrack:
we got a good deal for a guy who's played one season. For us he couldn't attack and his passing was average - you can see why he didn't make the grade as a winger. Given what you paid for Maguire, it seems fair.

MadCuntCuddles: I would have liked more money in add-ons and for MU to remove the Zaha clause. AWB is as good at RB as Harry Maguire is at CB but Leicester got nearly double the money, the only difference there is AWB is five years younger. So would have liked more money.

Q04: How do you feel about the Zaha saga this summer and the whole sell-on clause fiasco? (question provided by @Solius)

fhor: Very messy, think the club, owners and Zaha (plus agent) handled it horribly. TBF to Zaha I think he had a verbal agreement he would go this summer for a 'good deal'. However, a good deal to Zaha is not a good deal for a club that depends on him for that Premier League cash cow.

peacockypeacock: Not handled great by anyone, but I think the reality is this window just didn't lend itself well to making a move. None of the top 6 really were in a position to spend big on a winger. That should change next summer, in which case I think Zaha winds up moving.

EnzoScifo: I feel let down by Zaha. He signed a 5 year contract then decided 6 months later he didn't want to honour it. No club came close to our valuation so there's no easy solution that was missed

dontsteponthecrack: Kind of disappointed he didn't go for a 70+ amount. I'd have taken 50+players. Don't feel like him staying is doing him or us a favour. It won't increase his price either. Per the sell on clause...shame we couldn't sell him back to United...I'm sure we tried. The sell on thing is really irrelevant. His value at palace is determined by his worth to us, this is different from his market value and we are stupid to assume otherwise. However I suspect we will keep him happy by giving him an improved contract before January or certainly before the end of the season if he doesn't leave in January.

MadCuntCuddles: If no club were willing to pay 80m for him then he can't complain. Maybe if he hadn't complained like Harry Maguire, teams wouldn't have lowballed and he could have got a move. Hopefully he puts that behind him and plays well this season.

Q05: How do you feel about being called a "one man team" - is Zaha really that important to you or does the media underrate the rest of your team? (question provided by @Annihilate Now!)

fhor: We won our first game since September 2016 last season without him, so maybe things are changing? However, when he's on the pitch all traffic goes through him - it's a fair critique to call us a one-team player and also makes us very fecking predictable.

peacockypeacock:
It is a completely fair criticism. The issue is made worse under Hodgson because his defensive tactics leave Zaha completely isolated on offense.

EnzoScifo:
While there is truth to it it was always slight overstated. The stats that proved we couldn't win without Zaha were devoid of any context

dontsteponthecrack:
I don't think we're a one man team, although we have only one creative player (zaha). They tried to change that with Meyer and now Camarasa. We will see if it works. The reason we look one man team is due to the (lack of) creativity and the lack of goals. Sakho and Luka are probably more important to us.

MadCuntCuddles: Zaha is the best dribbler in the PL for me. Two seasons ago only Neymar had completed more successful dribbles. If he doesn't play well, we don't win. There is a lack of creativity in the team when the other team has men behind the ball.

Q06: Which three Crystal Palace players do you think will be ones to watch this season?

fhor: Zaha (obvs), Meyer and interested to see this Camarasa chap as he gets talked up a lot on reddit.

peacockypeacock: Zaha, Meyer and Sakho will be the three most important to the team's success.

EnzoScifo: Apart from Zaha I can't call anyone a standout player. I reckon Joel Ward and Connor Wickham might prove to be less shit than everyone thinks they are.

dontsteponthecrack: Camarasa and James Daly, if the latter gets game time. Wickham is the other wildcard if he can come good.

MadCuntCuddles: Zaha: will he be affected by the transfer saga or put it behind him? Meyer and Camarasa: will they be able to solve our creativity issues? Meyer is looking good defensively so far this season. Hopefully he sharpens up a bit in attack, sometimes his decision making is lacking.

Q07: Are there any young players you feel are on the verge of breaking into the first team set-up? (question provided by @roonster09)

fhor: We had a promising RB (rumoured to be an AWB v2) who looked good in pre-season (granted, he had one good AWB-esque tackle, but we're desperate alright) but haven't heard from him since (think injured). We also had another bright young thing who has just recently done his ligaments I believe and will be out for months - gutting. Unfounrtley, we don't put much faith into our academy products even though we've generated some great talent in recent history.

peacockypeacock: Not under Hodgson. He does not give any of the academy players any chance. Wan Bissaka only made it into the first team because pretty much every other option to play RB was injured. Nya Kirby is a real talent and should be given playing time. Luke Dreher as well, but he is out for the season with an injury. Sam Woods is a solid CB prospect, but he has a too many good players ahead of him to make an impact this year, but will be one to watch next season. Daly is the best forward in the academy, but in my view he isn't ever going be a solution for the first team.

EnzoScifo: No

dontsteponthecrack: James Daly and Nya Kirby. Promising striker and promising midfielder. Luke Dreher a promising DM/CB has just knackered himself for a year for the second time - likely we've lost a decent prospect here to injury.

MadCuntCuddles: No. Nya Kirby is a world cup winner but he is a CM and we have 7 CMs ahead of him atm. Don't think anyone else is good enough. Having said that, AWB may never have broken through if we didn't have an injury crisis so perhaps teams should look to their youth set up more. AWB wasn't exactly setting the u23 league ablaze.

Q08: How do you expect both Manchester United and Crystal Palace to do in the league this season?
fhor: Think you lot can break into top 4 I must admit, was impressed watching you against Chelsea. However, can also quite as likely seeing you bottle it and finish 6th. For Palace: last season I was all aboard the hype train and thought we would finish 9-7th, Was bitterly disappointed for all of last season apart from a few standout games. Trying to be more grounded this season - think we'll survive but won't be pretty. Ideally 14th.

peacockypeacock: United will be in a scrap for top 4 with Arsenal and Tottenham. I am pretty pessimistic about Palace this season, particularly if Hodgson sticks around. Looking at the table the only team I am really confident we will finish on top of is Newcastle. The mid-table teams we had been chasing the past few seasons have all improved, so I can't see pushing past the likes of Leicester, West Ham, Everton, etc. That makes the best we could hope for 12th-14th, but I think a real relegation scrap is in the cards. My bet is on 17th.

EnzoScifo: 5th, 15th

dontsteponthecrack: Palace will be happy with anything higher than 17th. United will be happy with 6th or higher I guess.

MadCuntCuddles: I think Arsenal will finish fourth and Man Utd will finish fifth. Palace will finish where they usually do; from 10th to 15th, unless that SHU performance is anything to go by.

Q09: Which XI would you like to see your team field against us?
fhor: I don't know who I'd like to see tbh but we normally line up like this against the top 6 with a 4-5-1. Would like to see Meyer, Camarasa and Cahill but honestly, Hodgson isn't one to experiment much at all - especially against the big teams.

peacockypeacock: Doesn't matter, Hodgson is going to throw out the same 4-4-2 that lost to Blades. Maybe he won't start Meyer because the team was obviously unbalanced with so many attacking options with him in there.

With that said, I think the key to attacking United is putting a lot of pressure on Pogba to prevent him from transitioning play. I would be interested in seeing something like a 4-3-3 with Meyer or Ayew as the front man up top and largely tasking them with man-marking Pogba. Using a target man like Benteke or Wickham to lead the attack against United seems pointless, Palace isn't going to win nearly enough balls in the air.

EnzoScifo: Changes from the weekend Cahill for Dann. I think there's no Sakho or Tomkins yet but if they were I'd fit them in as well. I'd conside starting Wickham over Benteke

dontsteponthecrack: Same XI as our last game, but ideally with sakho and camarasa instead of dann and Meyer. Shlupp instead of Meyer would be nice in which case James MacArthur can be dropped for Camarasa.

MadCuntCuddles: I wouldn't change the line up too much because we have to set up defensively away from home. Don't have much better options either tbh. Maybe bring in Cahill if he's ready.

Guita

Ward Kelly Dann Schlupp
Townsend Luka McArthur Meyer
Benteke Zaha​

Next time we play a park the bus team I wanna see a more creative line up with a less rigid formation:

Guita

Ward Tomkins Sakho Schlupp
Camarasa Luka Meyer
Townsend Benteke Zaha​
Q10: Finally, your predictions for the match?
fhor: It'll go two ways: we'll play out of our skins and scrape a draw or you'll batter us. We never do well against United I don't even think we've beaten you since promotion back in 2013. I'm concerned your entire squad is fuming with the racial abuse they've been receiving online and will channel that into our back 4 (RIP). Excited to see AWB vs Zaha though.

peacockypeacock: 2-0 United.

EnzoScifo: 2-1. We rarely lose by much and I don't think that'll change this weekend.

dontsteponthecrack: Would love a draw, a win will be a massive upset for Palace. Likely 3-1 to United.

MadCuntCuddles: It would be typical Palace to lose to SHU then win the next game against a top six team so I will predict a (first ever?) league win. 2-1 Palace. We scored 9 goals at City, Arsenal and Liverpool last season. MU and Palace are two teams best at counter attacking so this game will suit Palace more.
 

11101

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I expect us to beat them but there's no animosity towards them or the their fans, always seems a decent enough club.
 

roonster09

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I expect us to beat them but there's no animosity towards them or the their fans, always seems a decent enough club.
For Palace, ManUtd is probably the club they hare more than any.
 

roonster09

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Brighton?
Don't know about them, most of their fans don't even call the club or fans by name (ManUtd or Manutd fans). It's just wankers, at least going by their forums.

We had Palace supporter here, who explained why the hate is real.
 

Rasendori

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Q07: Are there any young players you feel are on the verge of breaking into the first team set-up? (question provided by @roonster09)
I also rate Nya Kirby highly. Technically proficient, elegant demeanour, and press resistant which is a prized commodity in todays game. His style reminds me of Modric. Would like to see him leave Palace asap
 

Annihilate Now!

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Yeah, they literally segregate away fans on their forums because they have been overrun with Brighton fans apparently.
How come you went to Reddit and not to one of their forums like CPFC.org ?
 

Damien

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How come you went to Reddit and not to one of their forums like CPFC.org ?
I went to Holmesdale first, posted in their Palace forum. Thread was then moved to Away Fans forum and got just one response saying:

All of these questions have been addressed in Palace Talk and, as you might expect, there's no single answer to any of them.
I saw CPFC forum was set up the same with an Away Fans forum so decided to go to reddit and they were much more nicer/helpful.
 

Annihilate Now!

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I went to Holmesdale first, posted in their Palace forum. Thread was then moved to Away Fans forum and got just one response saying:



I saw CPFC forum was set up the same with an Away Fans forum so decided to go to reddit and they were much more nicer/helpful.
Ha, how helpful.
 

roonster09

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Yeah, I vented a bit about it in the "Random talk for scouts" thread in the Scout forum.
I thought he knows this and wanted to pull your leg.

Anyways good thread Damo.
 

SilentWitness

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It must be rubbish being a Palace fan when Zaha is out. I know we all think that he’s crucial to them but hearing it from their fans that they’d be nothing without him is worrying for them. Makes sense why they wouldn’t let him go though.

Cheers again for this Damien.
 

The_Order

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This is a fantastic idea btw, great to hear takes from fans of other teams.
 

Solius

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@Damien

Southampton questions:

  • You've had some real ups and downs with managers in the past 5 or 6 years but the ups have seen you appoint some very good ones. Nobody really knew who Pochettino was when he came and look at him now. There was Puel & Koeman to an extent and now Hassenhuttl who has really turned around your style of play since his arrival. Why do you think you've always had good success with managers from abroad? Is there someone knowledgeable on the board solely responsible for the hiring?

  • Following up from that question, you've also had a lot of players snapped up by bigger clubs over the years who have been very successful. Mane, Van Dijk, Tadic, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bale and Walcott to name a few. It seems both in players and managers you are almost a feeder club for others who take your best and brightest. I know it is hard to hold on to players at times when big clubs come calling but how do you feel about this perception and are you happy with it as long as the production line keeps producing? Or do you have different more long term dreams for the club where you could eventually build a proper team with these types of players?

  • Which players in the youth setup are you most excited about?

  • James Ward-Prowse is probably the exception in that he's stayed with the club despite others sniffing around at times. There has been a lot of promise and hype around him since a young age. Do you think he's delivered on that or is there still more to come from him?

  • Yan Valery scored an absolute cracker against us last season at Old Trafford and then I think another against Spurs a week later. How has he come on since then?

  • How did you feel about Mario Lemina's what the media called a 'come-and-get-me' plea with that highlights video he posted?


You can use any or none and re-word if you need.
 

Stadjer

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I like these threads, fun to read before a match. Will you be doing them the whole season, just the first part of the season or just until you dont feel like doing it anymore? @Damien
 

Damien

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I like these threads, fun to read before a match. Will you be doing them the whole season, just the first part of the season or just until you dont feel like doing it anymore? @Damien
Aim is the whole season but depends on time I have available and the activity of the opposition forum. Solius and others have helped save a lot of time by providing questions so I'm sorted for the Southampton game.
 

Indnyc

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@Damien question for Southampton

You finished in the top half in 16/17 but have flirted with relegation the last 2 seasons.. What are your expectations for this season?

Also, what needs to change for you to become a top 10 team again
 

Mr Anderson

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Don’t think they’ll be feeling glad all over come full time.



....genuinely catchy tunage.