Crystal Palace v Newcastle
Wednesday 11 February 8pm
Alan Pardew’s recent ‘legacy’ was to deliver just one win in seven matches before the fateful day when he didn’t turn up for the post-match Everton press conference.
The best thing that you can say about john Carver’s influence since that day, is that he’s matched Pardew’s achievements with one win in six games.
Palace fans have welcomed the return of one of their ‘cult’ heroes and he has delivered five wins in six matches, this is a match the Eagles will be looking forward to a whole lot more than the travelling Magpies.
We may well see some anti-Pardew banners and songs dusted down by the Newcastle fans inside Selhurst Park but Palace supporters are still enjoying their honeymoon period. We know he can string a few results together but just like for West Ham and Charlton fans before us, his limitations are quickly exposed.
No sensible United fan mourns the passing of Pardew, it has just been like being handed a different jailer.
John Carver says that Alan Pardew is right up there with anybody else he has worked with previously and we ALL know who he was obviously referring to. When it comes to trying to impress people, the fans seem most definitely to come behind Ashley and Pardew in the queue.
With only three home wins all season in the league, the home side clearly aren’t any great shakes even with the new manager ‘bounce’. The trouble is our lot aren’t either.
How much we can take from the Cup win here earlier this season is dubious, considering both teams played near reserve teams.
As for the 3-3 draw at St. James’ Park, we were rescued that day by Rolando Aarons scoring and also making another goal. What Palace do have are a number of players who are prepared to carry the ball and also have a turn of pace, while for Newcastle there is really only Moussa Sissoko in that category and he tends to need a bit of space to operate in which only really happens if/when a game opens up.
I think most of you will share my feeling of doom ever since Pardew walked out and we looked at the fixture list. A gloomy night in South London is made for a humbling of his old club.
With wins against both Southampton and Spurs since his arrival, the Palace players have shown that they have the ability at times. Bolasie and jedinak may well both be available again after their stints away on international duty, along with Dwight Gayle (ten goals this season) they represent arguably the home team’s best trio of players.
Newcastle, under both Carver and Pardew, look most capable when the other team has a go at them and tonight that may well be the case. As well as the fans, the players will be wound up and be desperate to help Pardew make a point. I’d love to see Carver show attacking intent both in selection and formation because as Hull showed, if you can get the first goal then it can totally change the complexion of the game.
After the poor display on Sunday I think surely Carver can’t leave it the same for a third match in a row, but I wouldn’t bet against it. Cisse must surely be used unless he really is knackered, that would also allow Perez to drop deep and see more of the ball, so it would have double benefits.
Elsewhere, I live in hope that Anita, Williamson and Ameobi will be replaced with more effective players, at least potentially, such as Abeid, Dummett and even Obertan…never thought I’d hear myself saying that one!
Bottom line is that we haven’t got world beaters who have not been getting in the team but certainly continuing to play Anita and Williamson will never get us anywhere, same with Gouffran if he sneaks back onto the pitch.
I can’t see us winning unless there is a big change in Carver’s thinking – here’s hoping.
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