All the news from SE25 in the last 24 hours
A strong Palace development side hit five past their Colchester United counterparts in an entertaining friendly win.First team manager Ian Holloway was in the stands at the Weston Homes Community Stadium to run the rule over Jonathan Parr, Jose Campana, Stuart O’Keefe, Elliot Grandin, Jimmy Kebe, Jerome Thomas and Kevin Phillips, who all picked up vital game time.And it was Ollie’s experienced charges who turned on the style to prove the difference between the two sides, with a Kevin Phillips brace and goals from Campana, Kebe and O’Keefe sealing a routine win.Much of the build-up to the fixture surrounded ex-Eagles striker Clinton Morrison, who started up front against his former employers. But it didn’t take long for the home faithful to be silenced.With just four minutes on the clock, Palace won a free kick in a dangerous position around 25 yards from goal. Spaniard Campana stepped up and curled a beautiful effort beyond the reach of Mark Cousins and into the bottom corner.
With any fixture of this ilk, the club are in somewhat of a catch 22 scenario, where any victory is treated with a whiff of apathy, given the superior quality and depth of our squad, whilst anything other than a win would provoke feelings of uncertainty within our fan-base, backing the club into a corner from which there is no escape. Thankfully, given the fact that our current list of injuries is already worryingly overpopulated, the fixture passed in almost perfect fashion, with the team running out as comprehensive winners and as far as I’m aware at the time of writing, no fresh injury concerns. You can’t really ask for more than that.
Yesterday saw comments published from both Julian Speroni and Danny Gabbidon pleading for calm in the wake of our last two defeats. Whilst Speroni made reference to our solid performances prior to the sub-standard effort against Swansea, Gabbidon was far more open with his words, speaking directly about Ian Holloway‘s unhappy reaction to our performance on Sunday, along with the desire both he and his teammates have to rectify the issues that arose during the game.
Obviously, we won’t be able to gauge the effect Holloway’s words and subsequent tactical tweaks have had on the team until Saturday afternoon at St Mary’s, but it is comforting to hear an overwhelming acceptance of our shortcomings, rather than an ignorant refusal to accept the need for alterations to our approach. Until we secure another positive result, the memories of prior defeats will continue to sting, but it seems, at least mentally, that we’ve taken steps in the right direction since Sunday evening.
Unlike his previous spells away, he seems to have settled in at Cambridge well, forcing his way into first-team contention immediately, and last night, he played a key role in the U’s 3 – 0 victory over Nuneaton, scoring one and grabbing an assist.
Given our promotion in May, his chances of breaking into our side are obviously going to be limited, but, as with any of our younger squad members, it’s nice to see them doing well.
A video of his goal is attached. Without wanting to sound overly enthusiastic, it really is an impressive header…
If he doesn’t get going soon, there will be a danger that he will soon be figuring in one of those seasonal Ten Great United flop features that usually figure Bebe, Eric Djemba-Djemba and Kleberson.
This evening in the Capital One Cup against Liverpool, he will be named as a substitute for a match that Moyes cannot lose after the 4-1 defeat at Manchester City on Sunday.
It’s frustrating for Zaha, who hasn’t been on the pitch at Old Trafford since making a substitute’s appearance Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial against Sevilla before the start of the season.
He is an exciting player, just the kind to thrive at Old Trafford if he is giving the backing and support his undeniable ability merits.
The word from the United dressing room is that he has potential, but doesn’t quite have the end product to establish himself in the first team.
There are some rough edges to Zaha’s game, but he is capable of lifting spirits at United at a time when they are searching for a player who can rip teams apart.
He is only 20, a rookie in terms of his career, but he is in danger of being overlooked during Moyes’ transition phase. There is a feeling that Moyes doesn’t fully trust Zaha to carry out specific instructions and still be a threat when United are pouring forward.
David Groves, chairman of the Crystal Palace Foundation, told a packed room that the Foundation’s key aims in its new strategy are growing the game, childhood support, youth and community development, education, employment and business and health and wellbeing.
He also focused on the Foundation’s belief that everyone deserves an opportunity, saying: “I’ve been a life-long supporter and involved for five years and now as chair, why am I here?
“Because many years ago someone gave me a chance in life, a chance to shine, someone believed in me and gave me further education and now I’m a successful businessman.
“I think someone gave me a chance once so if I can give someone a chance and an opportunity in life, I’ve done my job.”
Youth worker Aaron McGrath is the unrecognisable young man that Holloway spoke about.
As a young troublemaker, who ended up in prison following a downward spiral of alcohol, drugs and depression, McGrath credits the Crystal Palace Foundation with literally saving his life.
Aaron, who was introduced to the Foundation as a volunteer by the Princes Trust on his release from prison, said: “I would probably still be in prison, or not alive by now.