Firstly as always I would like to welcome the players, staff, directors and supporters of West Ham United to Selhurst Park this evening.
It has been a great month to support the club, as since we were last here at Selhurst ahead of the Stoke City game, we have claimed seven points from three league matches, which has seen us climb into the top half of the table after a difficult start. We knew the first few weeks of the season would be tough as we integrated new players into the side and adapted our playing style, but the new-look line-up is beginning to bear fruit.
The 4-1 win against Stoke was great to watch as the goals rattled in, and that was followed by a thrilling comeback victory at Sunderland which showed the never-say-die spirit of the side, that has been at the forefront of our achievements over the past few seasons, is still very much evident.
With confidence building, we remained unbeaten between the two international breaks by claiming another fine point despite falling behind at Everton. I’d like to say thanks to all the fans who made that long journey on a Friday night; I know the coach trip was horrendous and we are doing our best to see if we can make trains available for similarly displaced fixtures.
Obviously a lot of the attention during this run has been on Christian Benteke as he continues to show why we broke the club’s transfer record to bring him into the club, but there have been great performances from everyone so far this season.
It was great to see so many of our players called up for international duty during the recent break, with Andros becoming the 13th Eagle to be capped for England and the first bestowed that honour by an ex-Palace academy graduate.
I had the good fortune to chat to Gareth Southgate at the Everton game, and I know we all wish him well as he attempts to change the fortunes of the national squad. Other players, including James McArthur scoring for Scotland and Christian netting the fastest-ever World Cup goal, made notable contributions for their countries, but from a Palace point of view, most importantly everyone came back in one piece.
Tonight’s game is set to take place in a packed house once again, mainly due to the fact that we sold a record number of season tickets, over 18,000 in fact. This is the maximum number we can offer with the ground at its current capacity, so we have now created a waiting list for those supporters who wish to be next in line should any seats become available for the start of the 2017/18 season.
It is just £10 to join the list, and if you are lucky enough to be at the front of the queue when seats become available, then you’ll get this fee deducted from the price of your season ticket. So if you want more excitement-filled evenings like this one will hopefully be here, then click here
for all the details.