Well Santa most definitely came early for Palace fans last week! First, the news we have been waiting for, confirmation of major investment coming into the club, followed by another 3 brilliant points - this time courtesy of a tough away day at Stoke.
Before we look forward, I’d like to take a moment to look back to a not so distant time where things were very different in the world of Crystal Palace Football Club. January 2010, the club was once again placed into administration and, having to that point been involved in a promotion chase, it all came crashing down.
I will never forget our next home game, the following Saturday against Peterborough, it really felt like the moment our support roused and came together in united defiance. My spine never fails to tingle as I remember the pure emotion, as Selhurst rose collectively and not a single fan failed to join in with a passion-filled rendition of ‘Stand up if you love Palace’. Encouraged by the Holmesdale Fanatics, that inspiring support has not died away and continues to drive this club onwards.
The following events will forever be burned into Palace memories; Hillsborough, the protest at Selhurst/Lloyds and, of course, with a massive sigh of relief, that last minute confirmation of CPFC2010’s rescue right at the death (quite literally!) Had someone told us all on that day what was to come over the next 5 and half years, I think we could be forgiven for dismissing it as a fairy tale.
As the club moves forward, it is only right we leave behind the attitudes of the past. We are no longer that plucky little club that has done so well to survive. You can’t move forwards quickly if you are constantly looking behind you and, with the investment of Josh Harris and David Blitzer, we are ready to click into another gear.
That said, we should never totally forget the events of 2010 and allow this to temper our emotions and expectations. The money coming into the club will allow us to grow in the right areas; Selhurst and other facilities are rightly the priorities. These are the places that will carry this club to the next level and allow us to compete with the teams at the right end of the table. With this in mind, I am perfectly happy to keep things realistic going into the transfer window and I hope the rest of our fan base share such sentiments.
We have two exciting games coming up over the Christmas period, away at Bournemouth (who are flying right now) and then back home to Swansea. Neither should be taken for granted; the Cherries are on a great run after victories over Chelsea, United and WBA, whilst Swansea could be compared to a wounded animal and should not be taken for granted.
I do fancy our chances, however. Keep playing as we have been – especially with Cabaye back in the team (hopefully) - and I fully believe we are more than a match for both opponents. We have been playing a 4-4-2 recently and this could be particularly useful if Connor Wickham is out again, Yannick could be a big player for us in this case and I wouldn’t bet against him scoring a few over this busy period.
I certainly trust our defence, backed by the highly impressive Wayne Hennessey, to keep out the likes of former Palace favourite Glenn Murray.
May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and on behalf of the fans do the same for the players, owners and the rest of the staff at CPFC, who give us such joy throughout the year. Let’s hope for more of the same this holiday season!