Alan Pardew has been speaking about the abundance of talent he has at his disposal between the sticks at Selhurst Park, following a busy summer of ins and outs.
Whilst Wayne Hennessey had taken over the role of Palace’s undisputed number one last term before enjoying a hugely successful European Championship with Wales, it is new arrival Steve Mandanda who appears to have taken over from the former Wolves man in the Palace goal this season, impressing everyone with a style that is both back yet authoritative.
There had been one or two concerns regarding a possible language barrier between Mandanda and his new defence, but so far, having played in four first-team fixtures for the Eagles, France’s number two is yet to taste defeat; with Saturday’s trip to Sunderland providing a feasible opportunity, on paper at least, to push that run to five.
Although some had worried that Steve’s presence could cause friction within the squad, Pardew has spoken extensively to confirm that Mandanda’s recent selection has actually had an overwhelmingly positive impact on his two direct competitors, before suggesting that their collective quality as a trio makes it our strongest position in terms of depth.
Given the striking technical differences that exist within the Steve Mandanda and Wayne Hennessey’s approach to goalkeeping, Pardew clearly felt compelled to compare the former favourably with another Premier League stopper who fits into the same mould, following a raft of gleefully critical comments throughout the sporting press.
I don’t think there’s any debate over who will take residence in the Palace goal for this weekend’s trip to The Stadium Of Light, but it’s always good to see the manager offering an insight into his thoughts on the squad beyond the immediate starting XI.