The departure of Steve Mandanda yesterday evening is being spoken of by many Palace fans as a story of unfulfilled potential but looking at the video attached below, it’s fair to say that the Frenchman never really did perform that well for us.
After building up a legendary reputation during his first stint with Marseille, hopes were high that Mandanda would step comfortably into the shoes of heroic figure Julian Speroni when he first arrived in SE25 but 12 months and just a handful of appearances later, the big man has trotted back off to the south of France in gleeful fashion, leaving new Eagles boss Frank de Boer with no choice but to look for another keeper to plug the gap before the new season gets underway.
One consequence of the Frenchman’s limited time in between the sticks for Palace has been the positive light in which his few games are spoken of; it’s a myth that the video attached at the top of the page debunks in impressively unceremonious fashion. Yes, his name is far more exotic than Wayne Hennessey but after failing to notch up even a single Premier League clean sheet in red and blue, we must be careful as supporters not to maintain a false impression of his performances.
The club have already been linked with a move for Barcelona man and former de Boer disciple Jasper Cillessen this summer and are now being brought into the discussions over Joe Hart, proving that no time is ever wasted in the ruthless world of professional football but in the lull before the 2017/18 season kicks into life, there is little to no harm in reminding ourselves that Mandanda failed to live up to the hype surrounding his arrival at any point during his stay.
Perhaps we just weren’t the right fit for him and never would have been but after a full year in which Steve has been kept firmly out of the first-team picture, I think we’re allowed a little bit of light relief to lessen the feelings of regret we may be having over ever agreeing to the deal in the first place.