Having recently returned from international duty for the Netherlands, Patrick van Aanholt looks ahead to Sunday’s game away to Everton and reflects on his thoughts for Palace and Holland’s ambitions this year.
This season, Marco Silva’s Everton have scored more goals than any side in the bottom 10 and will be looking to benefit from the home advantage by attacking Palace. Facing them, however, is a back four who have conceded the fewest goals of any side in the bottom 13. Van Aanholt explains just where Everton will threaten and how Palace can nullify any onslaughts.
“Richarlison and Walcott have got good pace up front, they create a lot of chances. So if we can stop them, that’ll be a plus for us but it’s not just them because they need the team and the team need them. I think we’ve just got to be aware of the danger and focus on our game.
“It’s going to be a tough game, a good game at Goodison Park. We’ve just got to play our own game like we always play and see what happens.
“I think the more games you play together, the stronger you get. The more you get to know each other on the field, the more you get to trust each other. I think that’s good. Me and Mamadou Sakho have been playing [together] since I came here. I’ve been playing left-back, he’s been playing centre-back and I know I can trust him on the ball and he can trust me on the ball. But I also know if I go and press, he’s behind me.”
Looking ahead at the rest of the season, the 28-year-old defender feels confident that Palace can go far.
“We started the season great. Fulham away, three points. Then we had a tough game against Liverpool and after that the results didn’t come our way but we’ve got to stay positive. I think we’ve got a great squad, a great team and I’m looking forward to the game on Sunday. It’s been a long time [since] I’ve seen the boys so I’m looking forward to it.
“We like to be on the ball because every player is comfortable on the ball in this team. I think we are a good team at playing football.
“We can achieve a lot, the season is still long. With this team, if we carry on the way we played last season and the way we started the season and the way we’re playing at the minute it’s good [and] we’re just waiting for the results. As soon as the results come then everything will be better for us.”
Domestic football aside, PvA has been featuring for the Dutch national team. The Netherlands secured a historic victory over Germany 3-0 and drew with Belgium 1-1, a game in which Van Aanholt came on for Donny van de Beek.
“If you beat Germany 3-0, [it’s] a great result. Yeah, clean sheet. I unfortunately didn’t play but that’s the choice the manager makes. You know, I’ve got to accept it and got to work harder. [For the] Belgium game I was on the bench, [we] drew 1-1. I came on for half an hour and I think I can look back on a positive and negative week. But we won and drew so that’s positive.
“It’s always nice to be called up for internationals, it always gives you something extra like you’re doing well at the club and you get rewarded for it. I’m pleased but I’m still the same player I was before I left. We’ve been training double sessions everyday so it keeps fitness up.
“[We] want to go to the Euros, to be back up there like we used to [be] a couple of years ago. But, like I said, we’ve got a new team and new manager so everything’s starting to get better slowly. I’m looking forward to it.”