Sunday, 26 April 2015

-Odegaard, +Zaha

Blog post 899

Hi dear blog readers,

You see I am coming up to the 900th blog update and that's awesome. Sometimes it's even difficult to believe into that bearing in mind for how long I have been blogging...

This Sunday I am sharing the latest news about Crystal Palace matches and also transfers since I reached the winter transfer window.

Transfer news


It was impossible for Martin Odegaard to hold on a little longer. His ambitions to play continental football were claimed to me and I stated he would be sold in case of received corresponding offer. PSG was here earlier than other clubs and paid quite much. So there was no other choice for me.


First and foremost I would like to inform you Palace board allowed to change season expectation opting to the Top half finish target and getting more transfer and wage budget for that. So it allowed to become an active player on a transfer market and bring back Wilfried Zaha and Alen Halilovic to the team. What an irony: PSG transfer listed Zaha after acquiring Odegaard! :) This is how I made unintentional player exchange.

I am especially with Zaha's return to his native team. He is one Crystal Palace icons and everybody was more than pleased with him coming back here.

Wilfried Zaha has not improved much his attributes since his previous time in Crystal Palace. However, he managed to make his way into English national team and had 20 caps. I hope he will become a part and parcel for my team.

Welcome back Wilfried Zaha!

Crystal Palace matches

It was really interesting time period that can be divided into two parts:

  1. Small crisis resulting in 6 matches without win up to the 1:1 draw against Wigan.
  2. Further recovery starting with awesome 4:1 over Newcastle.
My first ever win over Newcastle was clearly tactical. They tend to attack quite much and that's why I decided to use Supersonic tactic which did work out. No chance for Newcastle, this match will certainly stick in mind for long. 

The win inspired my boys on further good results. At last Ciro Immobile began to score goals after long delay. Yannick Bolasie returned his great form and showed why he's actually one of the best Palace players at the moment.  After those 3 victories in a row, we should have won against Burnley and were showing quite confident resistance to Manchester City on the last day of 2016. Though English champions and current PL leaders Chelsea showed Palace it's too early to shoot for the stars. 

Heavy 0:4 defeat was caused by lower class of my attackers and team at all. You see the game was almost equal but Chelsea was better in creating dangerous moments and turning them into goals.

Premier League table

The Eagles are in the middle after all. It's our accustomed position albeit it's really time to move up. Season expectations were changed to the top half finish and there's no way back.

Palace squad

10 players with average rating >= 7.00
Without Odegaard and with Zaha. We are still strong and ready to roll with the punches. 

My stake on John Souttar as a main partner for Andre Wisdom in defence looks like a winning one. The young Scottish talent has been playing better and better. His progress during trainings is also obvious. Another change I made choosing my starting line up is more trust to young Jesus Vallejo. He proved he's ready for that and now I prefer to use him more than experienced Joe Ledley.

Among negatives are:
  • Poor performance by Lucas Viatri. He requested the first team experience at the same time and got transfer listed. It's a pity nobody wants to buy him. 
  • Substitution bench wingers Tom Ince and Junior Hoilett failed to meet my expectations. I hope to see more from them onwards if they want to stay in Crystal Palace.

Ruben Perez - MVP of the reported period 

The player who replaced captain Mile Jedinak in the squad. Ruben Perez is becoming a new team leader. His latest performance was great and very convincing at this point. Ruben carries much weight in my team already. 

What's next

Now or never. It's just 4 points from the 6th position for me right away. I have to be more careful with further starting eleven selection. Surely many hopes are about Wilfried Zaha who should seriously strengthen our attacking force. He was the best Palace player in the first season...

I will call it a day if the Eagles jumps at the chance to get to the 6th PL table line till the end of March.

Thank you for joining me this Sunday.
Excited to blog for you,
Vitaliy Mokosiy

Author: Vitaliy

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