Last night, Crystal Palace Sporting Director Dougie Freedman and U18s boss Paddy McCarthy took part in a fans Q&A session at Selhurst Park, with those who attended believed to have been extremely encouraged by what they heard.
— Chris Waters (@Clapham_Grand) November 20, 2017
Whilst there are no direct quotes on social media following a request from Freedman, those who were there insist that his comments regarding the club’s intentions in the upcoming January transfer window were hugely encouraging. Of course, plenty within the Palace fan-base still feel uneasy about Freedman given the circumstances surrounding his decision to leave for Bolton Wanderers five years ago but now that he’s back, it’s apparently clear to see that he’s desperate to help the club in whatever way he can.
Having had a number of detailed discussions with Roy Hodgson about the areas we need to strengthen in the New Year, we can expect Dougie to implement a change of approach in the transfer market from the one that was employed over the summer. The chances of us waiting until the last minute to get our business done are almost non-existent if you believe what you hear, which must mean we already have our targets lined up and ready to go in most cases.
Pressed for clarity over strategy, the Scot was seen to be very direct in his answers, no doubt fielding plenty of questions over the circumstances which led to us emerging from the summer window with only one fit striker on our books. It’s a line of criticism he, Steve Parish and anyone else involved within the Palace hierarchy will have had thrown their way in the months since but if anything, the outrage over it should ensure that we don’t fall into the same trap again once 2018 begins.
On the academy, both Freedman and McCarthy were understandably extremely positive given the U18s table-topping start to the current campaign. After a few sparse years, it feels as though we have a special group of players coming through the ranks right now, making the coaching they receive all the more important.
Ideally, we’ll see a selection of them making their way into the first-team over the next three to four years but for every individual, a great deal of work lies ahead. One thing’s for sure, it feels like we have the right man there to guide them in the shape of Paddy McCarthy. Who knows, the first-team job may be his one day if he continues to produce the results he has so far.