Had you asked any Palace fan for their views on Jordan Ayew last season you’d likely have been given a non-committal answer. The Ghana international wasn’t terrible in his first campaign in SE25 but he didn’t exactly set the world alight either. Revisit that question this week and you’ll be met with Palace fans purring about the former Swansea man.
The 27-year-old scored his second goal in seven days to separate Crystal Palace and Aston Villa on Saturday, taking him above his entire goal tally last season before August had even finished but aside from finding the back of the net, it’s the general attitude he’s shown in his displays which has drawn the most praise from supporters and coaches since the new season got underway.
Despite clearly possessing bags of ability, Ayew has often been accused of lacking effort by fans at previous clubs, a view that’s seemingly stung him into changing his approach over the summer months.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, after picking up three points against Dean Smith’s men, Ayew said:
“Last season was a very difficult year, but in football that happens, but still the club had faith in me and I came back this year with ambitions and positivity and I thank God and all the people who have supported me because last season wasn’t easy but I keep working hard and now it is starting to pay off.
“The only thing that has changed [from last season] is that I am working extremely hard and I have understood some certain basics in football and that is it. When you do the basics you make things easier for yourself and that is what I am trying to do every day in training, as well as at home.
“For me the most important thing is to work hard for the team for the team to win. After that if I chip in a few goals it is a bonus, positive for me but I am not at an Arsenal or Manchester City where you get 10 chances every game and you need to score them. We are a team of fighters and that is what you try to do, we try to bring up the team to the highest level, each year we are improving so just keep on improving slowly.”
Having taken the role of lone front-man from Christian Benteke in Roy Hodgson’s XI, Jordan’s position is now his to lose. Of course, a trip to Tottenham after the international break is something of a free hit for he and his teammates but the back-to-back home games against Wolves and Norwich straight after will likely be looked upon as a real opportunity for Jordan to add to his goal-haul and Palace to get more points on the board.