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“We had five of the front six who are new against Swansea. If we had KG and Mile in the middle, it would have made the back four feel safe. We have that back now.
“Southampton have got a good thing going on, they spent some money and the manager Pochettino presses the team well.
“I have massive respect for them. They’re really going to have a go, but it’s a great opportunity to play on a wonderful surface.
“I’m convinced we’ll take our good attitude into the game. They do have some fantastic players, and Rickie Lambert, who is an England striker now.
“But we’ve got to hurt them at the other end. If my staff and players can stay positive as me, we’ll be all right.
“It’s about results at the end of the day. First four games we have fairly consistent performances but only had three points.
The Eagles frontman joined the club from Arsenal in August and scored on his debut at Stoke.
“I cannot be objective about Chamakh because I have known him since he was young and I was part of Bordeaux when he made his debut,” he said.
“He’s a really important player for them and a very good player for him.
“I have known him for a very long time and the threat he poses but in the Premier League there are no easy rivals, they are all tough rivals, and we need to be ready for the game.”
That success on Merseyside has added a degree of expectation ahead of the visit of newly-promoted Palace, but manager Pochettino is fully focused on the task ahead.“I want to win, the players want to win, the fans want to win and the staff want to win,” he insisted.“I don’t really mind the expectation from the outside. We have understand that the game against Crystal Palace is the most important game ahead of us.“The victories against Liverpool at Anfield and in the Capital One Cup are in the past, so the only thing on my mind right now is the game ahead.“As with any promoted side, it’s clear that they will play with a special spirit because they’re new to the Premier League.“As is always the case in this league, there are no easy matches so we’ll need to be really focused on doing everything well. We’ll be going out there focused on getting three points.”
‘Football is so popular it’s become a monster,’ he said. If football is a monster, the young players are its prey.
‘I don’t know if there is enough support there to help their learning,’ Holloway added. ‘Gazza can’t go anywhere, he can’t do anything, he doesn’t know where he is, he doesn’t know who he is. It’s like George Best all over again.
‘Us football people have a duty to make sure our young lads don’t get like that. It’s heart-breaking. Let the football family get hold of someone like that and make sure we help.’
Gascoigne, 46, is not an isolated case. Another England star Kenny Sansom, capped 86 times by his country, became homeless after his life was ruined by alcohol and gambling. Once living in a £1million mansion, he was forced to sleep on a park bench. But he has now come out of rehab to take a job as a judge with Glenn Hoddle‘s new Zapstarz soccer school, according to bobbyfc.com.
As one of few top flight veterans in Palace’s inexperienced squad, former West Ham defender Gabbidon knows he has a big role to play in the dressing room as the Eagles look to rally from their difficult start to the season.
“That’s part of my role,” said the 34-year-old. “I have played in this league before so I know what it takes to win games. We have got some younger players in the team, and the likes of myself, Mile [Jedinak], Damo [Damien Delaney], that’s our job.
“We have to give advice to the younger lads and hopefully get them learning quickly about this league and how hard it can be.
“I’m one of the senior players and I’m always here to give advice to the younger lads.”
Ian Holloway’s men will be desperate to secure a positive result at St Mary’s but face a stern test against the Saints, who beat Liverpool 1-0 in their last Premier League outing and have only lost once so far this season.
Gabbidon insists Palace are up to the task, but admits they will need to improve drastically on their showing against Swansea.
“We know we have to certainly improve on that performance,” he said. “Southampton, they’re another good team.
“There are no easy games in this league but it’s a game we have to look towards and see if we can get some points.
Steve Browett has confirmed that the club are looking into the possibility of knocking the Arthur Wait stand down and completely rebuilding it. A move that would undoubtedly be greeted positively by the majority of our fans.
“It’s a toss-up at the moment – we have spoken about it this week, in terms of which stand will be first to develop.
“The Main Stand would bring in the most income because it’s the Main Stand, you can charge higher prices and you can get corporate deals, so financially it’s probably best to do that first.
“But on the other hand, the Arthur Wait Stand is probably the most in need of knocking down because the concourses are so hopelessly inadequate.
“The actual view, if you don’t have a pillar in the way, is very good. It’s just the concourses, they’re far too small.
“We’ve done up the food areas and toilets there, but it’s just a small bit of work and it needs a lot work really.
“Staying in the Premier League is the number one job this season, and there will be things happening in the stadium, but not straight away. Staying in the league will affect what is done.”
Meanwhile, after witnessing last Sunday’s defeat to an impressive Swansea City side, Browett insists the fans can’t expect the new players to “gel overnight”.
And he believes they will need to take points off their “nearest competitors” if they’re to survive this season.
“It’s great to be in the Premier League and we always knew it would be a challenge,” Browett added. “You try your best in every game, but what you really need to do is to beat the teams around you.
He sounded far more positive on the subject of our general fitness than he has done for some time, confirming that, having trained fully this week, Joel Ward should slot back into the right of defence, allowing Adrian Mariappa to play his first game for the club in his natural position as a centre-back in the absence of Damien Delaney, who is expected to be out for another two weeks.
Other than that, it sounds as if Yannick Bolasie is making significant progress, as he looks to get back into contention for a place in the side, following his injury against Lazio in pre-season. Whilst he won’t be ready to take part against Saints, it sounded as though Holloway was hopeful of the winger returning to the fold in time for our appearance at Anfield, a week this Saturday.
Having spoken of his admiration for Swansea’s overall performance, it was no surprise or hear him discuss Southampton in similarly glowing terms. Since Nigel Adkins was replaced by Pochettino, they appear to have gone from strength to strength on the field. As demonstrated by their 1-0 victory over the previously undefeated Liverpool at Anfield last weekend, they posses a very solid backbone, whilst also adhering to the principles do possession football.
Holloway, quite understandably, spoke of the need to “force a mistake” out of them this weekend, given the quality they regularly display. Quite rightly, he made reference to their tactical planning, with their performance last weekend demonstrating the depth of their overall preparation.
Having fallen behind to an early goal from Craig Mackail-Smith, we refused to roll over and eventually managed to draw level late on, thanks to a low strike fromWilfried Zaha. A few minutes later, Darren Ambrose bundled home our second goal, sending the travelling fans behind the goal into ecstasy, before Glenn Murrayhammered the final nail into the Brighton coffin, swiping a shot into the bottom corner of the net and killing off any hopes the hosts may have had of salvaging any pride.
The significance of the goal couldn’t be overstated, with the already delirious Palace fans able to bask in the glory of the ultimate turnaround. The days after the fixture passed in a glorious haze, with bragging rights assured in awesome fashion, but then the attached video made its way onto YouTube, with a Brighton fan letting out an anguished cry of “For fucks sake, Murray!” as the ball made its way towards the net.
The result of the video was extreme, with our fans latching onto the moment in a big way. Countless t-shirts were made with the phrase plastered across it, the video itself received over 25,000 views and Murray himself was made aware of the story behind it.
As a Palace fan, night’s don’t get much better…