01/02: Preview: Crystal Palace
by Paul Wright of Palace Pages
What happened last season?
A nightmare! We started with a new chairman (Simon
Jordan) whose money had saved the club. But after a
run of poor pre-season matches, Jordan sacked manager
Steve Coppell, who has god-like status at Selhurst
Park. Worst still, his replacement was ex-Palace
manager Alan Smith, who was hardly the fans' choice.
However, for a while it looked like things were going
to work out. Palace had good cup runs, in both the FA
Cup and the Worthington, and managed to maintain their
league form. But it all went wrong on a night at
Anfield, when Palace lost to Liverpool in the second
leg of the Worthington Cup semi-final. The Palace
players found it difficult to motivate themselves
after that defeat, and manager Alan Smith started to
lose their respect. A number of successive defeats saw
them slide down the table, and after a pitiful home
defeat against Wolves, Alan Smith was sacked. Simon
Jordan appointed reserve team boss Steve Kember as
caretaker manager, and gave him the impossible task of
winning the last two matches of the season, to keep
Palace in the First Division. The players responded to
Kember, and amazingly Palace beat Portsmouth away, and
then Stockport away on the last day of the season, to
stay up. Palace are a club that seem to never go for
mid table safety, they are either in the play offs, or
What's going to happen next season?
Hard to predict. New manager Steve Bruce has already
disappointed fans, by not making any new signings.
Most Palace supporters will be happy to end the season
still in Division One, but the play-offs are always a
Can you recommend a pub for away fans?
All the pubs are friendly near the ground. The Albion
is popular with away fans.
What's the nearest railway station?
Selhurst and Norwood Junction are both about 10 mins
walk from the ground. Trains from London Bridge go to
Where is the best place to park?
There is parking available around the ground, although
most roads are pay and display. There is free parking
in the Sainsbury's car park, next to the ground, in
Soundbites (from assorted Census correspondents)
"Mark Goldberk and Terrance Vegetables are Wankers!"
"We hate Brighton and Balti pies rock!"
"Watford are going nowhere, the mighty Palace will be promoted soon. I think the site describes you too damn well with the blind stupid and desperate."
"Stevie Coppell should be knighted, Ron Noades should be cruxified."
"Craig Harrison is the next england left back."
"We are the unluckiest team in the World ! Relegated from the Prem with 48 points. Finished third in the top flight and not play in Europe because English teams were banned. Beat Liverpool in the first leg of Worthy Cup Semi to be beaten in the second leg, next year the semi will only be a one legged game."