Alan Pardew has refused to blame goalkeeper Alex McCarthy for the late fumble which led to Manchester City’s sickening last-gasp winner on Saturday.
Despite feeling as though the stopper should have dealt with Nasri’s shot more comfortably when he first saw him parry the ball away, the Palace boss appears to have shifted his viewpoint after having a chance to watch the save again on TV.
Having come into the first-team set-up in place of the injured Julian Speroni at the start of the season, McCarthy has visibly grown into the role in recent weeks, performing superbly against Chelsea in particular, but after looking secure and confident for the vast majority of our encounter with Pellegrini’s Blues, the late strike will serve as a bitter blow for the former QPR man.
Whilst many had initially assumed that Alex was merely keeping Speroni’s seat warm during the Argentine’s rehabilitation from a finger injury, his recent performances have provoked many to bang the drum for his continued presence in between the sticks once the Palace veteran returns to full fitness.
Clearly rated by Pardew, who has already tipped him for an England call-up at Euro 2016, McCarthy now appears to have the backing of the majority of Eagles fans, prompting a possible long-term changing of the guard in SE25.
It feels strange to say it, but Julian Speroni’s days as our undisputed number one could well be over.