All of the time: Don’t Murray About a Thing

Coming back: Will Glenn Murray be able to replicate his form prior to his injury?

Coming back: Will Glenn Murray be able to replicate his form prior to his injury?

First published in Sport Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by

A fair amount has happened since my last column.

To summarise the hive of activity, Palace were knocked out of the FA Cup at Wigan, then beat Hull City in the league at home, attained the lofty heights of 14th in the table, had a manic and encouraging transfer deadline day, saw Wilfried Zaha get off to a flying start for Cardiff, lost 2-0 away at Arsenal and settle back to more familiar league position of 17th (and a point off the drop).

Not only that, but Tony Pulis has confirmed - much to my genuine delight, excitement and relief - that Glenn Murray will be named in his 25-man squad.

This feels like more than Paddy McCarthy's injury-plagued, honorary inclusion for the first half of the season.

I doubt Pulis is the sentimental: "Well, he did get us promoted so I should probably include him" type.

There's a lot of discussion, naturally, as to whether grumpy Glenn would be able to replicate his Championship-thrashing form in the English top flight.

It's been one of those annoying hypothetical fans' forum talking points all season; soon we'll know for sure.

Not that Murray will shine straight away. Perhaps if the horrendous injury had never happened he could've begun this campaign by continuing the momentum and form from his 30-goal season.

But coming back as strong as he left would have been a miracle even back in the second tier, let alone with the drastic step up in defensive qualities.

Croydon Guardian:

Assist king: Murray's old team-mate Mr Zaha is gone, will that be significant in the striker's return to the side?

Not to mention now his old assist-provider and partner in crime, Zaha, is long gone.

But with headline signing Tom Ince set to make his debut on Saturday at Selhurst against West Brom, and players like Yannick Bolasie and Jason Puncheon all capable of providing the service Murray thrived on in the last campaign, I believe he's got every chance of eventually reigniting that poaching instinct that so often made the difference in 2012/13.

It's a huge cliché, but a fully fit Murray will "be like a new signing". Which is just as well, because despite our excellent bargaining in the January window we failed to add a new centre forward - and Cameron Jerome looked lost, sloppy and ineffective at the Emirates.

In fact, I've tried to make my amount of words in this column about the 2-0 loss in north London representative of the amount of possession we had in the match (27 per cent).

We didn't really expect anything else.

So looking ahead to next Saturday is the important thing now.

It’s another huge game for the Eagles and it’s brilliant to have an array of really inspiring additions to the squad ready for the Baggies, in Joe Ledley, Scott Dann, Wayne Hennessey, Ince and Puncheon’s permanent signing.

If Murray returns to the first team soon too then our attack will be really invigorated – and we could certainly do with a few more goals to go with Pulis’ trademarked defensive solidity.

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