Alan Pardew says he won’t compromise the club’s DNA and style of football, encouraging his flare players to ‘show the world what they can do’.
In an interview with the Men in Blazers’ Roger Bennett, Pardew stressed the importance of tapping into home grown talent, and embracing the ‘street football’ which local players have grown up playing.
“The traditions of this football club are players from working class backgrounds growing up in tough environments, and we have utilised the street football of the players that we produce. The first team represents this and we won’t ever stop putting players like Zaha, Bolasie, Sako on the pitch because that is us. If you look at the club historically, we have produced wingers usually from ethnic backgrounds, who have been up against it and have got tricks and skills that they want to show the world and that’s the type of players I like - that’s the type of player we’ll have in this team as long as I’m here.”
With the manager’s name recently linked as a potential successor to Roy Hodgson at England, Palace fans will be pleased to hear the Eagles boss talk passionately about his commitment to developing Palace’s youth structure – a project he has been working on with Chairman Steve Parish.
“People think we’re competing with the Arsenals and Chelseas, but we’ve got a completely different market, we scout differently to the top clubs. There are a lot of migrants in the area who have only just joined schools and they’re bringing talent into the country which we have first pick on. We look for players who’ve been struggling at school and we try and take care of them. But the most important thing is we look to players who love the game, if they love the game and are willing to learn then we’ve got the coaching ability to bring them on.
Highlighting Sullay Kaikai’s success at Shrewsbury Town where the young player is currently on-loan, Pardew believes the midfielder has set a precedent for other players in the development squad and wants others to follow in his footsteps.
“Kaikai is doing really well and he needs to make the path to my first team next year because that triggers everybody below. It needs to be seen from top to bottom that our youth system works – because we think does. Me and Steve (Parish) are working hard to have a youth development system here that is different to everyone else, and hopefully there’s going to be some news to come on that in the near future.”