The Wheeling and Dealing Starts
Before the game with Fulham I found myself with some time I didn’t think I had. I decided to put this to good use and be productive, assessing the clubs weak areas and working out any transfers that could happen. The free transfer market was still open
and I had already gotten two emails from agents in the morning stating they had players who might fit Crystal Palace, or at least be good squad additions. I got to thinking and realised the squad was way too big and had to be trimmed down before we added anyone else. And with that in mind, I decided over the next few weeks players would be leaving
. I started with Florian Marange
. Ian had bought him in but left him out of the initial 25 man squad and he wasn’t going to play for me so I released him on a free transfer. Kwesi Appiah
was another who was cut loose as he wasn’t going to make it as a youngster. I decided I would give two players a week to show me whether they were cut out for this level – Elliot Grandin and Paddy McCarthy
. Paddy was the captain before I turned up but I decided that Mile Jedinak was a better choice
and in fact Paddy was losing it as he got older. Jimmy Kébé was the final player
I marked out to potentially leave and that meant I cleared up a lot of space in the squad for those two players I had emails about.
After making up my mind, I called their agents and agreed contract deals for them both until the end of the season. And just like that we now had Sotiris Kyrgiakos and Yossi Benayoun
. Hopefully they can make some contribution to the team over the next 6 months. I also had around £9 million
left in the transfer budget and submitted bids for Aaron Cresswell and Tom Ince
. Both would significantly bolster the left side
of our team and would definitely be starters if they were to join. This could mean some other players find themselves on their way out come January
. I’ve already transfer listed goalkeeper Neil Alexander, defender Darcy Blake, midfielders Owen Garvan and Stephen Dobbie and strikers Aaron Wilbraham and Kevin Phillips
. All of these players will either leave in January or in the summer on free transfers.
We have a big run of games coming up and we need to pull together. There are some very winnable games and we have to make the most of the poor form of teams around us.
There were also some major staff changes. 5 members of staff
found themselves on the way out and better coaches who will make a better impact on our youth and first team replaced all. The quality of training has improved and we are making steps in the right direction, not just as a team but also as a club.