The Opposition View: Palace 0-1 Tottenham

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Following our 1-0 win against Crystal Palace on Sunday, we once again caught up with Daniel Smith, writer and editor for the Palace Mad website, and also writes for RednBlueArmy.co.uk, London24 and This is Futbol to get his thoughts on the Premier League opener.

What did you think, a fair result?

I thought it was a fair result. Spurs had the clear cut chances and Palace didn’t really get that, but definitely one goal difference was fair.


Was it a pen?

Yes it was. It’s one of those unfortunate ones where Moxey can’t get his hand out of the way because of the way he jumps in but it stopped the path of the cross.


I was surprised Palace started off so defensively, it felt like a home game for us until Holloway made those substitutions. Do you think you should’ve been less cautious?

I think in terms of the formation that is how we set up last season so it was no real surprise for us; we’ve been suited to that way. I was a bit surprised that we started with Wilbraham but he does always run his socks off, and I was also pleased that, except for Gayle, all the other players he used played their part in getting us promoted, it showed faith in the team. In hindsight, if we had had the subs on sooner or one of them even starting, perhaps it could have been different but I think it will be something we can learn from.


What did you think of your new signings, specifically Dwight Gayle? £4.5 mill is a lot of money after all.

 I think Gayle came into the game more after the substitutions, like he was given a bit more freedom as there was more movement with Phillips and Chamakh. He will need a couple of games to get used to the team but he has the potential to be a really good signing based on his record at Peterborough, but yesterday’s game alone would be difficult to judge. Chamakh looked okay, some good runs and touches and I think against some of the lower teams he could be effective.


Which, if any, of the Spurs players impressed you?

 I’ve seen a lot of media talk about the new signings but I thought Kyle Walker looked good going forward, seemed very composed on the ball as well.


Why did Williams not start, tactics or fitness? He looked a useful player.

 Very useful, I think he can be one of our star performers this season. With our formation there will be players left out, but I think that the fact he was away on international duty during the week will have been a reason. He’s had some bad injuries in the past so there’s no need to rush him back, but he showed his capabilities when he came on.


Has anything untoward ever happened with the prematch eagle antics? (Please say that he gets through half a dozen cheerleaders a year).

I’ve got to say, I don’t know of anything in particular but I’ve seen a couple of times when it looks like the Eagle has got quite close to players heads as they come out of the tunnel for the line-up, but that could just be from the angle from my seat.

 Finally, I heard some home fans afterwards saying that the important thing was the scoreline and that you didn’t get mullered. Was the performance and ‘only’ losing to a single goal something to take encouragement from for the season?

For this particular game there were definitely many positives despite the fact it was a defeat. Of course, we wouldn’t have wanted to be badly beaten as it’s not good for confidence with Stoke and Sunderland coming up. I think we have to be realistic, it is going to be more difficult to get points against teams in and around the top 5, and when you consider those next two fixtures the focus would definitely be on trying to win them as we are more likely to pick up points. Yesterday’s game is the sort where if we pick anything up it is an additional bonus. I felt our performance was good. Although it got us into trouble at times, the defence were still trying to pass out from the back and there was plenty of ball time for the midfield who were passing well. I wouldn’t say that avoiding a heavy defeat was the utmost importance in that game because there were no real expectations of winning anyway, but no-one wants to see a bad defeat. The performance rather than the score line was more important, and I thought we performed and handled ourselves well and can use that to improve. You seem to get more time on the ball in the Premier League and I think once the players are used to that it will only benefit us.

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