All of The Time: Ireland in the Sun
"The supporters want to see the team doing a lot better and not giving daft goals away like that. I’m not too happy with all that nonsense. To praise the supporters for sake of it … Let’s change that attitude […] They want to see the team winning – let’s not kid ourselves, we’re a small country, we’re up against it, but let’s not just go along for the sing-song every now and again.”
Change the word country to club, and Roy Keane’s controversial statement at Euro 2012 about the Republic of Ireland could quite easily fit the Eagles and their Premier League campaign so far in 2013.
The former Manchester United player’s comments were much-maligned at the time. But I think he was right then, and his point is right when applied to Palace now.
I’m not criticising the travelling support either. I just agree that we deserve better than patronising plaudits for our noise after another shoddy, lacklustre performance.
Our support really is second to none in the English top flight, but it’s already becoming a condescending regularity to have the fans praised while events on the pitch produce absolutely nothing to cheer about.
Nevertheless, we’ve always known that what lies in store for Palace this season is all very ominous, only now we can categorically specify the things that need to change - such as ball retention, attacking cohesion and spirit.
And cutting out ludicrous decision-making. I’m talking about you Marouane.
Even from the opposite side of the pitch and at ground-level, I was immediately convinced Chamakh had dived to try and win a penalty.
It seemed ridiculous to go down and not to shoot. It was additionally embarrassing after our contempt and anger at Ashley Young’s simulation a few weeks ago.
Yes, this isn’t the European Championship, we’re not a small international side, and we haven’t just been beaten by Spain.
We’re in less of an inevitable situation than Ireland usually are, with plenty of still-winnable games, but it’s essential that we don’t make the same mistake of prematurely accepting our fate because of these early horrendous performances.
The season should not become simply having a few good days out.
Just because we’ve failed in our other attempts at Premier League survival doesn’t mean it’s over. We need to prove we’re more than an extremely well-supported, plucky team who rarely expects to win a game. We’re better than that, although it doesn’t look like it at the moment.
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