Crystal Palace’s first-team began pre-season training this week, prompting Chris Grierson to sit down with manager Alan Pardew to get his thoughts after a busy summer.
As you would expect, there is a desire both inside and outside of the club to get the lowdown on what the trio of new arrivals will bring to the squad during the coming season, with Grierson quizzing the gaffer on the specific attributes of each signing, alongside their role within the team in the weeks and months to come.
Pardew speaks with genuine authority about James Tomkins in particular, who he brought through the West Ham academy when he was their boss in the mid-noughties, giving him a comprehensive understanding of the mental and technical strengths that the lifelong Hammer has in his game. Alongside the anguish many Irons fans expressed at the defender’s departure, Pardew’s words should act as a source of excitement over what is to come from James during his stint in SE25.
There is also talk of the upcoming tour to the USA and Canada, as well as the opportunities that will be afforded to a few of the youngsters who will be travelling with the first-team party over the next couple of weeks. Having seen the likes of Sullay Kaikai and Hiram Boateng impress away from Selhurst Park last season, it’s certainly interesting to get Pardew’s perspective on their chances of breaking into the first-team squad in the near future.
It’s been just a tad under two months since the 2015/16 season drew to a close, but we are now back in the swing of things and gearing up for our first game of pre-season in just five days time. Let’s hope we hit the ground running.