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Palace's Previous Links With Germany

2 August 2018

Max Meyer’s arrival at Palace may have only doubled the number of German internationals in SE25, however there are a host of links between the Eagles and the nation.

German-born players

Before Meyer’s arrival, Marco Reich was the only German connected with the Eagles. The former Kaiserslautern, Koln and Werder Bremen attacker had been capped once by his nation in 1999 and was signed by Iain Dowie from Derby County in 2005, and made an instant impact by scoring the only goal on his debut against Coventry City in a League Cup tie.

A fortnight later he bagged a well-taken brace away at Queens Park Rangers and, with the wind firmly in his sails, three weeks later he had his finest hour in red and blue by scoring a volleyed winner at home to Liverpool to seal a 2-1 win and knock the then-Champions League holders out of the League Cup. Those were to be his only goals though despite making 34 appearances, and he departed to Kickers Offenbach in January 2007.

There have been two other ex-Eagles who happened to be born in Germany. Steve Galloway was born in Hannover in February 1963 and joined from Sutton United in October 1984, and he too scored on his debut against Cardiff City a month later. However he found his opportunities restricted for the first-team so he only made six appearances.

Born in Steinfurt, Finland international Mikael Forssell had two successful periods on loan from Chelsea between 2000 and 2001. In all, he bagged 18 goals in 62 first-team games before returning to his parent club to be loaned elsewhere, later joining Birmingham City and Leeds United sandwiched between a stint with Hannover 96. He then returned to his native Finland, and only retired this summer.

Snow clearance and forces friendlies

In the immediate post-war years, the harsh winter of early 1947 began in mid-January and lasted for six weeks. In those days matches still took place on snow-covered pitches and in Palace’s first season following the resumption of football after World War II, the home game against Leyton Orient on 1st February only went ahead after 18 German prisoners of war had cleared the touchlines. They in turn were allowed to stay and watch Palace win 2-0.

Five months later, and in warmer weather, a Palace party led by new manager Jack Butler left on 30th June to play two friendly matches in West Germany. The first was in Wuppertal against a British Combined Services team that ended in a 2-2 draw, with the Palace scorers being Glyn Lewis and Albert Mycock in front of approximately 6,000 spectators.

The second fixture was against the British Army and played at Bad Oeynhausen, but in poor conditions there was only a crowd of about 3,000 present and the team lost to the only goal of the game.

Recent encounters

In July 2005 the Eagles travelled to Germany for two friendlies, the first of which was against Czech club FK Teplice in Meisbach which ended in a 2-1 defeat, before an encounter with Eintracht Frankfurt on the ground of FC Füssen. New signing Jon Macken opened the scoring three minutes into the second half [above] but the German team equalised 13 minutes from time.

Two trips back to the country have come in the past three years, with a goalless draw at FC Augsburg in 2014 followed by a visit to Berlin 12 months later for a friendly against second division FC Union Berlin, when even the debut of Yohan Cabaye could not stop the Eagles suffering a 2-0 defeat.

Last summer, Schalke were the Eagles’ final pre-season opponents, and in his first game in the Selhurst dugout, Frank de Boer saw his Eagles trail at the break when Pablo Insua netted just before half-time. Christian Benteke equalised on the hour mark with a header, just before Meyer was introduced for his first taste of life in SE25.

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