Our review of the 2013/14 season starts today with Julian Speroni, whose performances between the sticks for Crystal Palace this term have played a huge role in keeping the club in the division.
With 39 starts under his belt this term, joint highest alongside Damien Delaney, Jules has fought off competition in the shape of Welsh international Wayne Hennessey, who until our last game of the season against Fulham, hadn’t played a minute of competitive football for the club, a testament to Speroni’s consistency.
Now tied with Nigel Martyn for sixth all-time on our appearance list, Julian can look back on ten years in South London with immense pride, after a campaign which has seen him make a string of his most impressive saves ever.
Whether you point towards the two superb stops against Chelsea late on in the 1-0 win at Selhurst Park, the dive that saw Luis Suarez’s curling shot tipped onto the post, the point blank save he made against Aston Villa to ensure all three points or a host of others, the Argentine has been worth his weight in gold yet again this term.
With his contract up this summer and interest from elsewhere proving to be an obvious temptation, it remains unclear as to whether Speroni will still be a Palace player when the new campaign kicks off. The man himself has said that he wants to stay, the club have stated publicly that they would like him to be here too, but you get the impression that Julian will not be too enamoured by the thought of sitting on the bench behind Hennessey.
Hopefully the two parties can come to some sort of arrangement, for continuity if nothing else. The word legend is well-worn in the world of modern football, but Julian Speroni is a man whose service to this club warrants that tag.
Season 2013/14 Grade: A