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GaryG

The Eagles have landed v.02

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PLAYERS RETURN FOR PRE SEASON TRAINING

 

Today see's Crystal Palace's players return for pre season training, ahead of their first game against Aston Villa on Sunday evening.  As the players arrived at the Crystal Palace FC Training Ground in Beckenham this morning, there was just the one new face arriving through the door.  That was Welsh international defender Chris Mepham who was signed in the auction just last week and was seen as a real coup for the Eagles at the price the paid.

 

The players looked in high spirits as they arrived, however manager Gary Goodson was quick to state that last season is in the past and that a long hard season lay ahead for his Eagles side.  "We have to focus on the new season ahead" Goodson said.  "We did brilliantly last season and we must not forget that but the task in hand is now to focus on the season ahead as it will be a tough one for us".  Asked whether he was concerned that only one new face had arrived through the door and a number had left, Goodson 39, replied "Not at all, we have a great bunch of lads here who want to build on last season and have a better one this time around.  We are looking to bring at least another face through the door and have also promoted a couple of lads from the u23's who we feel can make a real impact this season.  I am in daily contact with Simon and he assures me he and his team are working hard at the targets I have identified".

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PALACE CAPTURE ITALIAN STARLET

 

Crystal Palace have announced the signing of Italian forward Patrick Cutrone from AC Milan for a club record fee.  Although the fee has not been disclosed, it is said to have blown Palace's previous transfer record 'out of the water' after chairman Simon Parish delivered on his promise to back manager Gary Goodson ahead of the new season.

 

Speaking to the media today, a delighted manager gave his thoughts on the deal "I am absolutely delighted to welcome Patrick to the club.  What this signing shows is the ambition of the club and that we want to move onto the next level.  Simon has worked tirelessly all through the close season to get this deal over the line and I'm delighted it has been concluded before the season gets under way officially.  The lad doesn't speak a word of English but we have a great group of lads here who will help him settle into life in London and the Premier League.  It's an exciting time for the fans of this football club who have had to endure some tough times over recent years but we are looking to change that and this signing is just one step towards that goal".

 

The capture of Cutrone along with auction signing Chris Mepham, has been seen as good business by the London based club and one's that wil get the fans excited.  Both are 21 years old and have great futures ahead of them and fans will be hoping that they can hit the ground running at their club.  Whether that concludes Palace's business for this pre season is unknown at this point, however it they are to be the only signings, then fans cane be satisified with both.

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PALACE LEFT TO FOCUS ON THE LEAGUE

 

After the disappointing exit at the group stage of the Anglo American Trophy, Crystal Palace manager Gary Goodson has said that the club now most focus their efforts on the league campaign after a somewhat tricky spell which has seen the club pick up just (points) from the last () games.

 

This season was always going to be a challenge for the Eagles after qualifying for the AMT after an impressive first season back in the Premier League last time round. With the added number of games, Goodson has had to rotate his squad more than he had to at any stage last season to ensure everyone has stayed fit and not picked up an niggles along the way.


Whilst he has managed to achieve that, it has come at the cost of performances, especially in the league where they have looked jaded at times. After a solid start, results have certainly taken a downward trend of late and with their AMT exploits over, they can now focus on the rest of the league campaign. “It has been challenging throughout this season” Goodson said. “We knew that we would be pushed to the max this season and would have to utilise the squad intelligently to ensure we gave ourselves the best chance in every game”.

 

“It was a great experience for us and the fans and of course we wanted to progress but it was not to be. What we must now do is focus on the remainder the league campaign and get as many points as we can. We do not want to get to a stage where we are looking over our shoulders and worrying about how the teams below us are doing”  With the announcement over the weekend of a league restructure and that there will be no relegation this season as the league is to be expanded to fourteen teams, it does give Palace some breathing space.

 

Goodson, however does not want his side to take that for granted and rest on their laurels. “Obviously its great news, especially for those teams near the bottom as it means another season at the top table however for us, I cannot stress enough the danger of complacency. We still need to give 100% and look to win every game otherwise it sets a back precedence. What it does is afford us the chance to try maybe some things that maybe we would not have giving our current situation”

 

When pushed on whether that meant a different approach to games Goodson replied “Yes, it could mean we try a different style in some games”. A feature of Goodson’s tenure as the Eagles manager has been his sides counter-attacking ability. Though it has been criticised by some section of the media, Goodson was quick to defend their approach to games. “Obviously everyone wants to play expansive, attractive attacking football but it’s not always possible. You have to work with the players that we have and that’s no disrespect to them, we just have to use their strengths to get us results.  Our fans are not stupid, they know their football and know what we are”.

 

There is still the matter of the FA Cup which Palace still find themselves in and it could now be an ideal chance for them to have a real go at the competition seeing as the threat of relegation has been removed this season. Whether Goodson does is another matter but it could be interesting times at Selhurst Park over the next few weeks.

 

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PALACE LIMITATIONS EXPOSED

 

Crystal Palace were given something of a footballing lesson at the King Power Stadium on Sunday evening as they were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Leicester City in a fairly one-sided game.  Speaking ahead of the game, Gary Goodson had spoken about experimenting with his side’s style in some games between now and the end of the season but this game showcased the limitations that he has with his squad.

 

Instead of sitting back, Palace tried to take the game to their hosts from the off but it was an experiment that spectacularly backfired.  It was easily the Eagle’s worst performance of the season as they were second best in every department, Leicester’s quality on the ball was a major factor as they comfortably saw out the game with very few problems.

 

Whether this result will sway Goodson to revert back to what his team are best at remains to be seen, however it may be a case of they need to live by their own means and realise that playing expansive football, with this current crop of players at least, is not the way forward for them.

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PALACE LEFT STUNNED

 

The breaking news coming out of Selhurst Park today is that manager Gary Goodson has left the club to become the new manager of London rivals Chelsea.  The move has come somewhat out of the blue, however after Pip Aldridge was sacked at the weekend, it is thought Chelsea had made Goodson their number one target.

 

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish was reluctant to let his manager leave, however in the end, did not stand in his way so he could make the move Stamford Bridge.  Goodson was appointed Palace boss towards the end of season (number) and guided them to the Division One title, pipping Burnley on the final day of the season. 

 

Last season, Goodson led Palace in their debut Premier League season to an impressive 4th place and qualification into the American Anglo Trophy.  They narrowly exited the competition at the group stage just last week, however have found their league form has suffered this season as a result of this.  They are currently in 8th and it is believed Goodson was keen on the move to Chelsea as he felt Palace maybe had reached the maximum level they could go to with the current finances of the club.

 

Certainly the move to Chelsea is a step up for Goodson despite Chelsea’s poor season as their overall quality of players is much higher than what he had to work with at Palace and because of that, he will be expected to turn their fortunes around.  With the announcement of the league restructure and that there will be no relegation this season, it will afford him time to stamp his own authority on the team, if just for the remainder of this season as a top four will be the minimum requirement come next season.

 

At Palace, Goodson built a solid if unspectacular side, one that did not concede many goals but they also struggled for goals and that is something that will need to change as the fans of the Stamford Bridge club demand entertaining football as well as owner Roman Abramovich.  Some would argue that with a better standard of player, Goodson will not have to rely on being as defensive minded as he was at Palace as with the likes of Dybala, Götze, Hazard and Kante in the squad, they have the players to play attacking football and be challenging for honours.  One thing is for sure, this is Goodson’s first chance at a big club and pundits will be keen to see how he fairs under the microscope, something that he has not had so far in his managerial career.

 

Goodson will be officially unveiled at a press conference on Saturday, ahead of their league game on Sunday against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.  It is expected that Goodson will also bring in his own backroom staff, though no one from Crystal Palace is expected to follow him to Stamford Bridge.  Crystal Palace fans are said to be unhappy with Goodson’s departure, especially to a London rival and one in the Premier League.  Some have branded him a traitor whilst others have thanked him for his time at the club but have said it is time to move on.

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