Crystal Palace: Hull Win Pivotal, Thank God We're Out Of That FA Cup Nonsense...
1. YET ANOTHER PIVOTAL MATCH
If Stoke at home was a must win game then this one should be classified as a ‘must must win’. Indeed for all future Palace previews I am only going to point out the non-pivotal games, as they will stand out for their rarity. Anyhow Hull at home means another three points up for grabs against one of our fellow bottom half dwellers. So now we have rid ourselves of that FA Cup nonsense it is time to get serious and plot our path to survival. By beating those around us we may gather sufficient points to avoid the dreaded drop.
2. TYGER, TYGER BURNING BRIGHT
After 22 matches Hull have the most points of all three of the promoted clubs and have some noticeable scalps, having won at Newcastle and beaten Liverpool 3-1, so they do have a slight edge over us. But there are only three points separating the two clubs and we pricked Hull’s impressive home form back in November when, to everyone’s great surprise, we sneaked a 1-0 victory courtesy of a late Barry Bannan goal. This was the point at which our season started to pick up as Pulis watched his new charges from the stands and since then our form under him has given us that rare commodity, hope. As all fans know it is the hope that kills you but we do have a glimmer whereas before it was unremitting darkness.
3. NO TO TIGERS
Not only is every match crucial right now but also seemingly each and every match has a deeper significance as fans protest against some injustice, with despotic owners at the top of the tree. And boy do Hull fans have justification in their struggles with their current chairman, Dr. Allam. Allam’s brainchild is to rid the club of their original name and wipe out over a century of tradition by replacing City with Tigers. His justification is that there are lots of teams called City and Hull need to strike out and be distinctive. Anyone having the temerity to challenge his brilliant solution is reminded by the good doctor that he has never been denied in business and will not do so in football. He seems oblivious to the fact that football clubs are not the same entity as commercial companies so he ploughs on with the refuseniks offering stout resistance and a train crash is in the offing. Allam is competing strongly with Vincent Tan to carry off the Worst Owner of the Year award, so thank goodness for the men behind CPFC 2010 as I know whom I would want running my club.
4. YES TO EAGLES
By comparison Palace underwent a change in nickname some forty years ago when the late, great Malcolm Allison dreamed up The Eagles and only a small number of current fans will remember our previous incarnation as The Glaziers. Unlike Allam’s master plan everyone bought into the idea and it was viewed as a nod to modernisation rather than changing the entire identity of the club. Since Allison’s entertaining but ultimately fruitless reign The Eagles have soared occasionally and this season may just be the one to see us secure a second consecutive spell in the Premier League
5. CROUCH, INCE, TIGER? HIDDEN PUNCHEON
As we enter the media-fuelled madness that is the last few days of the Transfer Window, each club becomes linked with a galaxy of stars from home and abroad. Hull have secured the services of Long and Jelavic which Pulis thinks will keep them up. Meanwhile rumours abound on who is coming in at Selhurst including Crouch, Ince, Zaha and Uncle Tom Cobbley. Whatever the truth behind these headlines the team to face Hull will probably be the very same that beat Stoke ten days ago apart from Parr being replaced by Moxey so free-scoring Puncheon will be hoping to add to his tally of two and it would be nice to see one of our twin stalwarts Ward or Jedinak notch. Last time we played Hull we ran out 4-2 winners with a certain Kevin Phillips scoring a hat trick. Now whatever happened to him?