Raphael Honigstein is a man who I usually hold in extremely high regard. An expert on German football, his opinion is often worth listening to but his opinions on Mauricio Pellegrino (attached below) are worryingly wide of the mark.
By now, I’m sure you’re aware that Mauricio Pellegrino is believed to be in a two-way tug of war between Crystal Palace and Southampton after both clubs waved goodbye to their respective bosses this summer. Most, if not all fans of a red and blue persuasion are excited by the idea of seeing the Argentine take up residence in the Selhurst Park dugout, not that our enthusiasm has stopped Honigstein from rubbishing the move altogether with a string of incorrect and bafflingly illlogical comments.
We should start first of all with Raphael’s eyebrow-raising attempts to discredit the job Pellegrino did at Alaves, which, if you took the journalist at his word, would seem rather underwhelming. Despite Honigstein’s apathy, it’s worth highlighting that Mauricio took a newly promoted side to a ninth place finish in their first campaign back in La Liga, reached the Copa Del Rey final, had the fifth best defence in the league, beat Barcelona at the Nou Camp and drew with Atletico on their own patch; all of which adds up to a rather successful season in my book.
Next comes Honigstein’s decision to group both Palace and Southampton together as identical clubs with inseparable aims for the campaign ahead; a statement that I’m sure both Eagles and Saints fans will readily dispute. It’s the sort of arrogant comment that shows up a lack of understanding over our differing trajectories, with the sole aim of writing us off as a club who are obsessed with a foreign ideology rather than an English one.
His comments towards the end of the clip lament the fact that Palace haven’t looked towards the lower leagues of the English game and are instead casting glances abroad but after the recent turbulence we’ve struggled through with the departures of Pulis, Pardew and Allardyce, could you really blame us?
Last but not least, it’s worth pointing out that Palace have only ever had one non-British manager in the entirety of their 112-year existence; which in itself suggests that we, more than almost anyone else, are due a change of direction.
If we do manage to replicate the season Pellegrino enjoyed with Alaves, I certainly won’t be complaining, regardless of Raphael’s views on what constitutes success.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed.