Palace's pre-season preparations came to a close following their adventure in South Africa, and a 1-1 draw with Fulham was followed by a 1-0 defeat to Dagenham and Redbridge, a game which saw Connor Wickham make his first appearance in a Palace shirt.
The striker had signed from Sunderland just a few hours before, and on his move he said: “I spoke to the gaffer last week and he said all the right things about the club and I’ve got friends here who also told me some very good things. I think I needed the fresh start, I had four years up north and it’s been a bit stop-start."
He was quickly followed through the doors of the training ground by Bakary Sako who completed his free transfer arrival later that week, saying: "I talked to some clubs but when I met Alan [Pardew] I felt a good feeling between him and me and that's why I chose Palace. He plays attacking, attractive football so it should be good to play here and score some goals."
Yohan Cabaye in red and blue! 🔴🔵 https://t.co/SrDJIy5isd— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) August 5, 2015
Sako wouldn't be in contention for Palace's opening league game of the campaign but they got off to the perfect start without him as they beat Norwich City 3-1 at Carrow Road, with Wilfried Zaha, Damien Delaney and Yohan Cabaye getting on the scoresheet. The Frenchman was delighted to score his first goal on his first appearance for the club, stating afterwards: “I was happy to get the goal - I wanted to start well because it’s a new season with my new team so I think it was the best way to start."
The following week saw the first action at Selhurst this season but Arsenal would come away with a 2-1 win after Delaney's own goal proved crucial, but the Eagles bounced back by beating Aston Villa 2-1 with Sako marking his debut with the winner late on to snatch the points and impress a purring Pardew: "Once he got it on to his left foot I was actually quite confident that he would find the corner because in training he's been hitting that with real venom."
Extra time was needed to edge past League One outfit Shrewsbury Town in the Capital One Cup, but eventually Palace cruised to a 4-1 win, but the highlight of the month was still to come as the Eagles went to Chelsea and beat Jose Mourinho's champions 2-1 with Sako on target again and Joel Ward grabbing the winner to start the season off with a flourish.
With the transfer window about to slam shut, Barry Bannan was allowed to move to Sheffield Wednesday as Pardew continued to run the rule over his squad.