We speak to Five Year Plan fanzine contributor and Palace fan Matt Woosie ahead of the Swans’ trip to Selhurst Park this weekend…
There’s been another managerial change at Selhurst Park with Sam Allardyce retiring and eventually being replaced by Frank De Boer. Were you sad to see Sam go and are you happy with his replacement?
Sam Allardyce worked wonders for Palace during his time in charge, but managerial changes and drama at Selhurst are so common now it probably wasn’t that much of a surprise to see him leave. He did well but he was probably never going to be a long-term manager so I wasn’t hugely upset but nevertheless he did well. Frank de Boer has come in and on paper looks to be a great appointment. But so far it hasn’t been particularly enjoyable or exciting to watch. He needs time before any real judgement can be made.
You’ve been active in the transfer market. Tell us about your new players, where you still need to strengthen and if you believe more signings will happen before window shuts.
We have only signed three players, and spent a total of £8million so far. Jairo Riedewald arrived from Ajax to be reunited with the man who gave him his debut. Unfortunately for him Palace fans aren’t used to playing it across the back line for five minutes before the goalkeeper punts it up-field. He took the brunt of frustration in the opening day defeat for this. Timothy Fosu-Mensah has looked quietly impressive so far and could be a solid addition to the side. But the most impressive move in the transfer window has been Ruben Loftus-Cheek. He looks to be a superb footballer, bursting through the midfield and spraying pinpoint passes to feet.
You’ve yet to get off the mark so far this term. Have you seen anything that alarms you or are you relaxed that things will improve over the coming weeks?
It is concerning that we are yet to score in the opening two Premier League games but with time that will change. The players are still getting used to a completely transitional style of play.
Looking at last season, who were your star men and who needs to up their game?
Wilfried Zaha was outstanding last year and stepped up to the plate when it mattered most. So far this term Jason Puncheon has been found wanting and needs to impose himself on games far more.
Swansea did the double over Palace last season. Do you feel you have a score to settle with both wins being secured with late goals?
The game at the Liberty was the most incredible I have ever seen, and that came a few weeks after our U18s lost 6-5 at home to Nottingham Forest! I don’t see it in terms of settling scores but naturally it would be great to pick up our first three points of the campaign.
What do you make of Swansea and which players if any do you fear?
Swansea are a side which can always mix things up. You have a good manager in Paul Clement but I think both our teams will be fighting at the bottom end of the table this season, not too dissimilar to last year. Tammy Abraham may be in his first Premier League season but he is certainly one to watch. Fernando Llorente is also a dangerman and Palace’s defence will need to be guarded.
Predict the score and where both teams will finish…
I think Palace will win 2-1, and as for final positions; Palace 16th and Swansea 18th.