Sunday, 15 February 2015

Winter transfer window + Latest results

Blog post 888

Hello my dear readers,

Get ready for the latest news from my Dream Job story! I passed my first mid-season with Crystal Palace making some decent transfers in January. That's what I feel I should begin with.

Winter transfers

Players out

It's really easy to account for those who left Palace. Basically there were numerous loans of youngsters or second squad players (Delaney, Garvan, Ramage). Some small money of $190K was received for Stuart O'Keefe.

Players in

At the same time I spent almost $7.5M to buy group of more or less talented youngsters. Let's call it a day.

I can't be bragging all of them like they all are hot prospect guys but hopefully most of them are able to grow into substitution bench players at least. Anyway it's always beneficial to sign young players because even if they don't grow much you can sell them and earn some money.

The top transfer here is of course famous Martin Odegaard. He is the only newcomer who is ready to play in Premier League right away.

Crystal Palace future defensive line was strengthened by David Costas from Celta. Sure he's not ready to oppose Van Persie or Aguero at this point, that's why I am going to place him on loan list. Nevertheless, Costas is one of my first eleven hopes in 2 years approximately.

Chelsea allowed me to buy goalie Mitchell Beeney. A decent goalkeeper with some prospect but still the 3rd best winter transfer.

Crystal Palace finances after transfers

First of all I am glad to have +127K in difference between total and current wage budgets. I freed some payroll with all those made loans and feel pleased now.

Club transfer budget was totally depleted as you see below. The negative balance in more than 6 million dollars doesn't worry me much due to large money normally received by Premier League teams in the end of the season.

New season expectations

Analysing current Crystal Palace performance + transfer of Martin Odegaard helped me to rethink season expectations and claim more ambitions target. I do think Crystal Palace can finish somewhere between 11th and 13th positions.

Latest results in Premier League

The current table standing shows my mid-table finish ambitions are achievable. Its quite tight competition below line 10.

Here are our recently played matches:

3 wins, 2 draws, 4 losses

Not the best result frankly speaking, though not the worst as well. Christmas time was quite successful according to nice play by The Eagles and 4 points taken against Hull and Southampton.

But then we got into quite tough season interval with lots of conceded goals. In particular it was disappointing to get destroyed by Arsenal at Selhurst Park. 1:5 is now my worst home defeat together with a same scoreboard against Man City.

FA Cup failure against Q.P.R. showed that playing at home against similar class team is not a bed of roses. They imposed very aggressive attacking football with fast Eduardo Vargas and Adel Taarabt. These two explosive attackers became unsolvable problem for my Scott Dann and Brede Hangeland

Crystal Palace players 

8 players with average rating >= 7.0. It's the same as during the previous blog update. Though I believe Martin Odegaard, Joel Ward and may be Dwight Gayle if he score more can improve their ratings.

Jack Hunt and Glenn Murray returned from their loans and joined substitution bench. I don't count on the much but it's still about some substitution bench length.

My current injury list contains two main Crystal Palance defenders. Luckily, Hangeland is expected to be out in less than one week.

Jonny Williams - Crystal Palace MVP

Jonny got another Premier League award and I can't imaging current Crystal Palace without him. It would be great if his excellent form doesn't blow over.

What's really awesome is that Williams is an absolute Premier League leader by key pass count!

Martin Odegaard

Martin Odegaard made his debut in Premier League and managed to score for Palace in FA Cup.

Look also at Martin Odegaard starting form. I think it's pretty cool for 16-year old boy.

Next matches to play 

The first three games make me thinking just to do my bit and grab at least 6 points. It's also important to revenge Q.P.R. for painful 1:4 defeat in FA Cup.

Simultaneously I am pretty worried by 4-match series of fixtures beginning with Chelsea. Not a good calendar for me because loosing to Chelsea and leading Everton can bring team morale down. The further match vs Liverpool should become an extremely tough challenge keeping in mind 1:5 defeat in the first season's half... And then away journey to Stoke-on-Trent... Well it will be decisive season interval for my club answering question:

     Whether are we able to fight for mid-table or it's still relegation battle?

Next Sunday we'll know the answer the question. Thanks for joining me again.

Excited to blog for you,
Vitaliy Mokosiy

Author: Vitaliy

Playing Football Manager since 1996. Blogging about it since 2007.