Sam Allardyce has had a rough few months since the scandal which saw him leave his post as England manager but last night, he got his first win as Palace boss and my word, did he enjoy it.
Having worked incredibly hard on the defensive side of our game since first taking over, Big Sam rightly stated afterwards that our performance against Bournemouth was the best we have produced under his management, having been resolute at the back and clinical in the final third of the field.
Whilst most, including the gaffer himself would no doubt have been happy to see Townsend dribble the ball towards the corner flag with the clock ticking down, the winger’s desire to kill the Cherries off enabled us to see out the final two minutes of the game safe in the knowledge that three points would be returning with us to South London.
Comparisons have inevitably been drawn to Alan Pardew’s FA Cup Final dance but in truth, Sam’s jig is far less self-indulgent than his predecessor’s, given that it was clearly aimed at one of our players, who was equally pleased by Benteke’s late header.
With Luka Milivojevic and Mamadou Sakho having also been brought in by the club on Deadline Day, Tuesday night turned into rather a good one for Allardyce, his coaching staff and the players, all of whom will now be looking forward to the visit of Sunderland to Selhurst Park this Saturday with added enthusiasm after such a morale boosting night on the South Coast.
As the boss said in his post-match interview with March Of The Day, we defended as an eleven last night, with each and every player putting a shift in to earn the victory. It made for a pleasant and much needed change after the last few months.
Hopefully we see the same dance making an appearance at full-time when David Moyes and co. are in town over the weekend.