Interview with an Eagle

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Prior to our opening home game of the season against Crystal Palace I managed to distract life long Eagle Mike from sticking needles in to his Alan Mullery doll for long enough to ask him a few questions about the State of the Palace Nation.

So, a 1-0 home defeat to a side led by a former manager to start the season. “FFS Pardew, sort it out!” or “Meh, these things happen”?

Very much ‘sort it out’.  Last season was firmly split in two halves with us going for Europe at first before trying our best for relegation.  The FA Cup final was of course fantastic to be in and even though we lost will be long remembered by the fans, but we haven’t played well in 2016.  With the exception of Newcastle last November, we have been bad at home for about 18 months.  It’s fair to say the home crowd is getting a tad impatient and the famous atmosphere is waning as well as a few gaps in season tickets holder seats appearing.

How was your summer of wheeling and dealing. Tomkins was a weird buy I thought? Wouldn’t the money have been better spent on a forward?

Brede Hangeland retired over the summer and Damien Delaney is now 35 so we needed the cover at the back.  Tomkins is a good buy and most West Ham fans are disappointed to see him go.  Palace over many years now have had a transfer policy of ‘when in doubt buy another winger’ so I’m not surprised but am pleased to have seen Townsend join.  He’s more versatile than many of our attacking players and is that next level up of quality we need to build across the squad.  All that said, yes we need a forward.  We have needed one since coming Into the Premier League (although I think Glenn Murray should have been given more of a chance).  Benteke would be a great buy, his price is three times the value of the club 6 years ago, but he would pretty much guarantee premier league survival and either a decent cup run or mid-table so the investment would pay for itself.

And how about Bolasie? £25 million from Everton if you believe the reports? Bite their hand off?

Bolasie is a tricky player to defend against but has often lacked the end product.  The price looks good on paper but all clubs are awash with TV money and unless we can replace him with someone as good or better, the price becomes irrelevant.  Bolasie has appeared to want to go for the last season so it has probably come down to a personal choice.  Annoying to see him go to small club like Everton.

Why do commentators always use Connor Whickham’s full name? And is “Connor Whickham” the Real Deal?

Connor Neil Ralph Wickham has looked great in the games he’s played.  Unfortunately he’s had a lot of injures since joining Palace so has not been able to get a good run.  He is really though a 2nd placed striker, with most teams (and Palace) playing a lone striker, you would want him on the bench and someone that little bit hungrier up front.

In terms of vegetable sizes where a frozen pea is “three points behind Hull already? We’re doomed” and a prize winning marrow is “if Leicester can do it…” how optimistic are you for the season?

A Brussels sprout with room to develop to cabbage if we land Benteke.  We should with a striker be a solid mid table side, without one we will be enjoying mid week championship games again next year.  

I think it’s generally agreed that the Euros were better attended in person rather than watched from home. How was the competition from an Eagles point of view?   I know you’re a fan of Jonny Williams, he looked good when he came on I thought.

It was great to see Palace, err sorry I mean Wales progress so far in the Euros.  Pleased to see one of our own Jonesta do so well for Wales unfortunately he is again injured as the season is about to start.  At one point we had the most players of any Premier League team in the competition so the club did well. The bearded dancing wonder Joe Ledley really showed the sprit of the Wales team compared to England.  He’s not a regular starter for Palace, he’s not amazingly gifted, but working as part of a Wales squad he put on some fantastic performances doing the job that was needed of him.

Spurs are five league games without a win, minus their first choice goalie and a key midfielder for Saturday. Surely this is a great time to play them?

We’re 2nd from bottom and have only won the in the league twice since we beat you in the FA Cup in February.  We have sold one of our best players, it doesn’t look like we will land a big name striker.  It’s a great time to play us.  Tottenham hit bad form at the wrong time last season, but I’m sure you will pick up.  I don’t see the light at the end of our tunnel, and this looked like a bad first away game to me before the season started.

And finally, a prediction for Saturday’s game please.

Now I never predict a Palace loss but 2-0 to Spurs (well almost never).  We will start well but with little chance of scoring, you will get a goal and our heads will drop knowing we have no way back.  Then late on the inevitable second:  Now I’m not Nostradamus but simply repeating the events of our league games from the end of last season.

Thanks Mike, hope your prediction is spot on. And careful with those needles, they look sharp.

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