Opposition Q&A: Crystal Palace – ” I won’t be counting any chickens until the fat lady sings at the end of the day”

This week we spoke to comedian and Palace Fan Kevin Day (@kevinhunterday) for his thoughts about the crunch clash at Selhurst Park this Saturday…

Q. Crystal Palace are currently lying twelfth in the Premier League table. Are you pinching yourself? Do you think Palace can make it any higher in the final ten games of the season?

A. No, we’ll settle for 12th. Let’s be honest, we’ll settle for 17th. Our late burst last season left us higher up the table than we deserved leading to the inevitable over-expectation from some fans at the start of the season. Luckily Warnock soon knocked that out of them.


Q. Alan Pardew is the equivalent of Marmite for a lot of football fans. How pleased are you with his appointment at Palace? What differences has he made to the way you play?

A. No Palace fans wanted Pardew because he was a former legend, he was a terrible player. The ‘Super-Al’ song was ironic. We wanted him because he was an experienced Premier League manager. I was amazed we went after him (Parish always said we wouldn’t poach) and amazed we paid for him but I’m delighted we did. In terms of playing style he’s been canny enough to recognise that this is essentially still a Pulis team so he’s tried to make them play a little further forward, keep the ball a bit more and attack in more numbers but we are still a counter-attack team at heart. This works much better away than at home. As you’ll see on Saturday this team is still a bit unsure when asked to play on the front foot at Selhurst.

Q. What do you make of Palace’s five years under the stewardship of Steve Parish and Stephen Browett?

A. Unlikely and unprecedented success is the short answer. We are now owned by Palace fans who treat us as fans as well, not as customers or clients as in previous years. And they try to communicate with fans as well. When they gave us four options for a new badge and none of them included an actual glass Palace, they listened to the uproar, came back with a design that did have a Palace and that’s the one we voted for. No club owners are perfect but they saved us from extinction so no criticism from me.

Q. How do you think Pardew will set up at Selhurst Park against Rangers on Saturday lunchtime? Who is the Eagles player to watch and why?

A. Hard to predict because unlike previous managers, Pardew has a range of tactical options. I suspect he will start with Murray to try and pressure your centre backs and he may start with Bolassie and Gayle to use their pace if you play a high line again. Problem is, as I’ve said, we’re not comfortable taking the initiative at our place. You want me to jinx a Palace player by picking him out? Puncheon has been a revelation as a creative number 10 type.

Q. How are you seeing Saturday’s game? A potential battle against a relegation candidate or a home game you should be seeking to win comfortably?

A. Potential relegation battle definitely. Mixing three metaphors I won’t be counting any chickens until the fat lady sings at the end of the day. You’re due a slice of luck and we’re the sort of team that dishes luck out so this is a tricky one for us. Having said that, I reckon we’re due to turn chances into goals soon…no, what am I saying, relegation battle.

Q. Which current QPR player/s do you rate or admire, if any? What about QPR players of the past?

A. Can I be boring and say the same as everyone else? Charlie Austin and Robert Green this season. I have very fond memories of Dave Thomas if only for rolling his socks almost under his feet. Also Dennis Bailey for scoring a hat-trick against United. Best if you don’t mention Clive Allen at a Selhurst though.

Q. What do you make of QPR’s decision to stick with Chris Ramsay for the rest of the season? How do you read recent events in Shepherds Bush?

A. I think you dodged a bullet with Sherwood, although it seems very odd that they moved his team in almost by stealth and then didn’t pick him. He was favourite for us when Warnock went and we knocked him back too so there’s a pattern developing. I think Villa fans who now agree with him that he’s the Messiah are delusional. On a wider social note I think it’s absolutely vital that we see more black managers, on a QPR note it seems the sort of logical and sensible decision that you simply don’t associate with you lately. Whatever the outcome I hope you retain him. The timing of Harry’s departure was very dubious and to outsiders, comical. I think you’ve had the same sort of turmoil we had for years and I think you’ll emerge from it like we did. I hope so because we are both community clubs in London and the rest of the country simply can’t believe such a thing could exist.

Selhurst Park Holmesdale Stand
Source: Rockybiggs / Creative Commons

Q. QPR is seeking to create a new stadium at Old Oak Common, not without some difficulty. Selhurst Park is one of the classic old stadiums – How do Palace fans feel about moving to a new home someday?

A. I don’t know many fans who do want to move. Selhurst needs sprucing up but it’s our home and to be honest it’s big enough. We will never be the Arsenal of South London and don’t want to be. It sounds odd to say but over-ambition can kill you. West Ham may find that out.

Q. Which three teams do you tip for relegation this season?

A. Hard to call this year because by this time last year Fulham and Cardiff were basket cases. I think Leicester and Burnley. Then I think Hull or Sunderland who both seem to be in denial. Obviously Villa would cheer everyone up. I think both our teams will stay up.

Q. Score and prediction for Saturday?

A. 2-2

Thank you to Kevin for taking the time to answer our questions!