Mile Jedinak has opened up about Alan Pardew’s decision to remove him from the role of club captain in favour of Scott Dann, admitting freely that it has really hurt him.
Having joined the club five years ago, the physically commanding central midfielder has been a genuine leader both on and off the pitch for Palace in good times and bad, readily making up for what he may lack in technical ability by proving time and again that he is a man others can turn to when the chips are down, making his above comments regarding his sadness at losing the armband all the more eye-catching.
Whilst no one, most of all Mile himself would question Scott Dann’s suitability to the role of club captain, there is a delicate balance to the morale and togetherness of any squad which can be easily upset by alterations such as this. Of course, you wouldn’t expect Jedinak to rock the boat as a consequence of his disappointment, he’s not that sort of man, but it’s difficult to know just how much of an impact the change of roles will have on our form moving forwards.
As you would expect, Jedinak’s words don’t ever veer off into the realms of petty digs or cryptic criticism, but they do draw upon a palpable sense of genuine sadness on his part at having been removed against his will from a role which he has embraced wholeheartedly from the moment he was first given the honour of leading his teammates.
You get the impression that Pardew’s choice of captain may well prove to be the final nail in the coffin for Mile’s Palace career, with the Aussie having been keen to stay in SE25 whilst still being viewed as the standalone figurehead of his teammates from day to day, regardless of interest from elsewhere. Now, with Aston Villa supposedly hugely keen to bring his sizeable frame in to shore up their Championship promotion charge, he may just bite the bullet and leave Selhurst Park for good.
It would be a sad and unfitting end for a man who has willingly put his body on the line for the collective cause time and again over the years, but as I’m sure you’ll agree, the sentiments he expresses in the above interview don’t exactly point towards him occupying a sunny mental outlook at the time of writing.