It’s been a dramatic few weeks for new Palace man Brede Hangeland, with Tony Pulis’ departure coming shortly after the Norwegian’s arrival, and a debut goal away at Arsenal eventually ending in disappointment, following a last-gasp defeat.
Yesterday saw Hangeland line up next to Damien Delaney at the heart of the Palace defence with Scott Dann failing a late fitness test, with the pair struggling to stop West Ham from taking control of the game during the opening 45 minutes.
With over 90 international caps under his belt, Hangeland is undoubtedly a man of great experience, but with fans already raising questions over whether or not he should be given a starting role when all three central defenders are fit, it’s up to him to prove his worth in the coming weeks.
Speaking after the game, he said:
I thought last weekend we played well and lost but this weekend have not played well and lost. We need to get back on the training pitch and work hard.
“To go 3-1 down during our best spell in the game was very disappointing.
“Ideally you would like a settled situation but often that is not the case so you have to try and focus on things you can influence and that is your performance on the training pith and on the pitch on a Saturday.”
After years at Fulham, you would hope that Hangeland would be used to off-field drama, but even by their standards, the last week or so at Palace has been incredibly turbulent.
Having made no secret of the fact that Tony Pulis was a big part of his decision to join the club, it will have been difficult for Brede to come to terms with recent events, but ultimately, should Scott Dann be fit enough to play against Newcastle next weekend, it would make sense to see Hangeland put on the bench.
With defensive organisation having been a massive part of our success last term, it seems only right that we do everything within our power to rediscover what made us so hard to break down after Christmas in the previous campaign.
Of course, the new manager will have his own views on the best defensive pairing, but from a fan’s perspective, it seems fair to suggest that Delaney and Dann offer the greatest sense of continuity in a period when the whole club is desperately searching for a sense of stability on and off the pitch.