Firstly I’d like to welcome the directors, management, staff and players of Bournemouth to Selhurst Park this evening as we get back to league action.
Due to print deadlines I’m writing these notes before the Stoke City FA Cup tie on Saturday and the closure of the transfer window last night so I’m obviously unable to reflect on how those have gone, but whatever has happened over the past few days tonight will be a special evening.
That’s because it is likely that Glenn Murray will be returning to SE25 with the Cherries, and I’m sure he’ll be given a special welcome back from all those in red and blue. Glenn was a wonderful player for us and gave us plenty of unforgettable moments, including that sensational season in 2012/13 where he netted all those goals to help us reach the Premier League.
But one of my favourite recollections of his time here was when he came off the bench against West Bromwich Albion in February 2014 and made his return following nine months out after his knee injury in the play-off semi-finals. He’d worked so hard to get back fit again, and to see him finally make his Premier League debut was a special day.
He went on to score some important goals for us last season and is continuing to do so for his new club since he moved to the south coast last September – but please Glenn, if you’re reading this, don’t score against us tonight!
As you may have noticed, over the past month or so the club has been the subject of a behind-the-scenes documentary called “Behind The Badge” which is being shown on the American TV station NBC, as well as our own Digital Membership channel.
If you haven’t seen the first three episodes of the four-part series yet, make sure you log on and check them out as it gives you a great insight into how Alan, the staff at the training ground, the squad and I go about our daily business and what is involved in trying to create a successful top-flight club.
There is so much that goes on at the training ground and at Selhurst Park that isn’t seen by the public, but in “Behind The Badge” you can really get a taste of what happens away from the buzz of matchdays like today.
I have to commend the management and players for being so accommodating to the filming crew who followed them around for four weeks documenting all of their movements, and also thank NBC and Goalhanger Productions for showing us in such a positive light.
It’s also great that we’re showing as much of what happens at the club to an audience we’re keen to tap into, especially now Josh and David are on board. I hope all our fans Stateside are enjoying it – remember you can always pass on your feedback to me on Twitter!
We’ve been through a tough period in the league in recent matches, but tonight gives us an opportunity to put things right again. It’s due to be another memorable night under the Selhurst lights, so sing loud and proud and play your part in helping it end with three points in the bag.
Up The Palace!