What happened last season?
Trevor Francis' sacking at Easter was met with
universal approval from Palace fans. Nearly 18 months
in the job was enough to reveal that he was incapable
of improving Palace's fortunes. Francis is an
unpopular man throughout the football world; he's
arrogant and a bad loser, he favours negative
football, and rows with his players publicly (Or just
physically attacks them!). He has worked at three clubs
that gave him plenty of cash to spend on players, but
in all the years at Wednesday, Birmingham and Palace,
he failed to achieve the objectives set him by those
club's boards. I've yet to hear a good word spoken of
him by any football fan, player or manager.
Finishing in 14th place last year was a very poor effort, with
the two cup runs and a good league spell in December
being the only things to remember about '02-'03. As
for the remaining 35-odd games that season, nearly all
are forgettable. The style of play was so dull and
uninspiring, sometimes the atmosphere at Selhurst was
literally like a morgue.
What's going to happen next season?
Anyway, enough about Francis. New manager Steve Kember
should do a much better job, although no-one really
expects much more than an attempt to get into the
playoffs this year. We are perhaps capable of this,
but I doubt we can manage it, particularly if we lose
Hayden Mullins and Julian Gray later in July as is
Kember knows Palace like the back of his hand, and the players seem to respect and like
him, which is more than could be said for the previous
incumbent. I will predict 9th place. We won't go up,
but we'll see major improvements in the style of play
and a willingness of management to bring the
youngsters through. Much will depend on whether former
youth players Wayne Routledge, Ben Watson, Gareth
Williams, and Gary Borrowdale are given good runs in
the team and good developmental support.
As for the seasoned pros, we have a decent keeper in Matt Clarke,
a proven dangerman in Dougie Freedman, and a couple of
useful centre halves (Popovic and Powell). Midfield is
the perennial worry - creative players are almost
entirely absent. Anyway, at least we can look forward
to a Francis-free future, and maybe an improved
spectacle and atmosphere at Palace for '03-'04.
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, Thornton Heath and Norwood Junction are all
about 10 mins walk from the ground. Trains from London
Bridge go to Norwood Junction. Trains from Victoria go
to Selhurst and Thorton Heath.
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
||Red and Blue
||Back to BBC please
Soundbites (from assorted Census correspondents)
"Kinky is using a feather. Perverted is using the whole chicken!"
"My dog once bought a slinky to play with on the stairs. That may not seem to weird, but what is weird is that he somehow used my credit card and signed for it!"
"The CD I'm currently listening to is a pile of sh!t."
"Watford are as pathetic as Palace."
"I wish I could skateboard sometimes"
"Sydney is currently experiencing a mild winter. That may be of help to anyone looking to travel here."