A big thank you to Jim Daly over at Five Year Plan, a fanzine and blog for Crystal Palace fans. He spoke to Mike of Royal Blue Mersey, and here's what he had to say.
RBM - How does Crystal Palace save their season?
FYP - Erm…..pass! I really don't know if they can and we're only 10 games in which does seem a bit defeatist, but then I am turning into a defeatist this season. I knew it would be tough after lucking out and getting promotion but didn't realise it would be this hard! The team has plant of spirit but lacks quality, and that's just it really. Spirit and gusto might win you a few points over the course of the season but when your main striker has hit the target just twice in 10 games you have issues. We has issues.
RBM - If you were making the decision, who would you hire as manager?
FYP - Sir Alex Ferguson. Pep Guardiola. Alf Ramsey. Anyone! To be honest I'm not sure even the likes of Sir Alex and Pepe could save Palace this season. Wow I really am defeatist aren't I? I think for the Palace board it is a toss up now between going for broke and trying to stay up with a pragmatic but unsexy manager or accepting relegation and sticking to the long-term plans they have been so vocal about and get in a younger gaffer. I'd like Sean Dyche or Malky Mackay once Cardiff implode.
RBM - Talk to me about Joel Ward, how good can he be?
FYP - Wardy's had big shoes to fill after replacing Nathaniel Clyne but has slotted in to right-back very confidently and is easily Palace's best defender - and potentially our best player. He's strong going forward, puts in a good cross, but crucially is defensively sound and positionally mature. He's also a nice young chap. He'll be off in the summer if we get relegated for sure, and no Palace fans would begrudge that I don't think.
RBM - What do you think about Everton? Does Roberto Martinez have your respect?
FYP - I've always liked Martinez, even more so after he thought 'sod it' and got that hair transplant. I'm glad he's getting the chance to prove what he can do at a bigger club than Wigan but it seems like he has settled in brilliantly at Everton. Again, Everton are a club I've always liked. They seem to do things the right way, especially lots of the recent Hillsborough stuff, crossing the divide to remember those Liverpool fans that died, the city coming together, really made me realise how great the football family can be.
RBM - What do you think the lineup will be for Palace on Saturday?
FYP - It won't be the same lineup as last week sadly as Adlene Guedioura has broken ribs, which is a shame as he has been one of our best players in recent weeks, the one midfielder who is keen to get forward to support Chamakh in attack. Otherwise I expect it to be the same lineup of Julian Speroni in goal, a back four of Ward, Damien Delaney, Danny Gabbidon and Dean Moxey. Mile Jedinak and Kagisho Dikgacoi the defensive midfielders with Barry Bannan and Jerome Thomas out wide. With Chamakh up top it just leaves that Guedioura-shaped hole which I reckon might be filled up Jose Campana, our new stylish Spanish midfielder.
RBM - What is the final score?
FYP - Oh jeez, I have no idea. I would love a win and I missed Palace's only victory so far this season (against Sunderland at Selhurst), but it will be tough against an in-form Everton. But if Palace play with the sort of intensity they did against Arsenal and West Brom in recent weeks they could grab a point. So…um…0-0?
RBM - Who does the scoring?
FYP - No-one really. Chamakh has one goal from his two shots on target so far this campaign and record signing Dwight Gayle has two goals from much less goal time. Palace are really struggling to create chances this season so if there is a goal it could come from anywhere. Screw it, maybe Speroni will score, Asmir Begovic did for Stoke last week!
RBM - Who wins the league?
FYP - Arsenal look great, but are due their customary implosion at some point; Chelsea have an absolute riches of talent but I'm not convinced they are a great unit yet which I guess leaves Manchester City (as I don't see Man United as a serious threat under Moyes this season, although expect him to settle over the next few seasons and make them stronger). So yeah, City, which is good for me as I have three of their players in my fantasy football side.
More from Royal Blue Mersey:
- It's Big, It's Blue.. It's Friday ToffeeLinks!
- Top Four Contenders or Top Four Pretenders
- Everton Mailbag: All Defense Edition
- Everton Classics: Everton Overcomes Liverpool in FA Cup
- Arouna Kone set to miss the rest of the season with knee injury