Monday, 10 June 2013

Silly Season

It is a common nickname for this time of year when the football season has ended. But it is more so evident when a team like us has secured promotion to the Premier League through the play offs.

When you consider that length of time it takes for the play off winner to be confirmed and that final spot in the top division taken, most clubs would be well aware of their needs for the following season. The necessary appointments and decisions made on coaching and playing staff. The latter is perhaps more prevalent for the free agent market which is becoming something more and more teams rely on.

Comparing the outlook now to the same stage last season it is so so different. As we look to embark on our first Premier League campaign in eight years we have been linked to everybody and anybody. It is understandable that the media take such an approach. It is difficult for them to know what the intention is at Palace. But perhaps the first signing through the door will be one of intent and set the standard. Or not.

I feel a cold shudder rip through me when we start being linked with players that to me are clearly mercenaries. I am sure I am not alone in that thinking as what we had last season was what got us promoted. A fantastic team ethic and with the likes of Ramage, Garvan and Gabbidon signing new contracts the foundations have been layed down.

What is clear that we are lacking in a few areas. More importantly, up front where we are not likely to see Murray return to the first team at least until after Christmas. And Wilbraham is not that replacement. Neither is Phillips although I'd like him around for a season for the experience and super sub position on the bench.

We move on to midfield. Garvan is a likely back up. KG is replacable. So that leaves us with a Jedi, Joniesta and Bolasie middle. A replacement for Wilf is required. Maybe Moritz will feature and even flourish in the Premier League. I liken him to Nicola Ventola.

Then the back line. Moxey I fear for but Speroni deserves his chance at the big time again. Ward is able but I'd rather see a centre back signing one of Delaney, Gabbidon and Ramage could partner.

A decent base is required and we have that. Now to add to that without going mad. This promotion needs to be a legacy for this club. If we give a good shot without being reckless in the transfer market then so be it. Clubs have tried and failed. But there are those that have done it to great effect.

There are plenty of free agents out there will experience, Danny Simpson (Newcastle) and Alex Pearce (Reading) to name a couple. It's a large list circulated by the Premier League this week but I would prefer to do what we have done in the past. Raid the Championship, it's what we know. The likes of Austin, Adomah and even a cheeky bid for Rhodes of Blackburn. Norwich have done it to good use, although that was mainly picking off the best talent from Leeds.

The silly season is a time when it is difficult to know what the truth actually is. But in Holloway we have to trust. After securing promotion he deserves at least that, even from his harshest of critics last season.

We begin the season as underdogs. As we did last season. And look what happened then. A fourth from bottom finish however that may come about will be a success story.

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