The always popular feature “Pards View” in which Palace TV’s Chris Grierson quizzes Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew over the latest developments at the club, is back for a festive edition, just in time for Christmas.
This interview with Alan Pardew offers us as supporters a brilliant insight into the position the club find themselves in as we prepare ourselves for the start of 2016. Covering a wide range of topics, it’s essential viewing for every Palace fan ahead of our Boxing Day trip to Bournemouth.
Following on from his recent interview with Graham Hunter, Pardew readily references his happiness at watching the bond between his players and the supporters grow throughout his time in the Selhurst Park dugout, before going on to explain exactly what he means when he talks about the fantastic “spirit” that we have running throughout the squad.
After seeing a great deal of building work take place at the training ground over the summer, Pardew discusses the positive impact that the new layout has had on relations between his staff and the playing squad, given the fact that they are now together at all times. You can tell from his tone, that the changes Steve Parish and the board made to our training facilities were greatly appreciated, which can only bode well for relations behind the scenes.
Moving away from the first-team picture, Pardew discusses the conscious effort he has made since August to accelerate the progress of the club’s brightest academy stars, highlighting the change in ethos that he has looked to implement in recent months, with the overall goal of bringing them into contention for a role at the top-level far more frequently than we have managed in recent years.
Having been in the job just under a year now, there is talk of the overall style of the play that Pardew looks to encourage at first-team level, with the manager musing openly about his vision for the long-term progress the team can make in years to come. Drawing on the perception that Everton boss Roberto Martinez has of us, Alan highlights the changeable aspects of our tactical approach which make us a formidable opponent for anyone.
Given the hectic nature of the festive period for us, with three games in just nine days, Grierson gains Pardew’s insights into the differences in the team’s approach to training and recovery, as we attempt to avoid a serious raft of injuries. The manager’s methods for doing so involve a definite shift in style, which he feels is the only way to keep his players fresh and able to cope with the difficulties that such a schedule presents.
The manager then lets us into his plans for Christmas Day with the players, who will be in at the training ground ahead of our trip to Bournemouth. Whilst we as fans will be stuffing our faces all afternoon, the squad will follow a plan of action that will see them ready to travel to the South Coast together that evening. Whilst we would all love to play the game for a living, this is certainly a time of the year when you have to have a little bit of sympathy for the lads.
All in all, the interview offers a great perspective on the state of the club through the eyes of the boss as we ready ourselves for the start of 2016. It’s well worth a few minutes of your time.