All of the time: International breakdown
I have moaned about the tedious international break in an All of the Time column before.
But this time, coming on the back of our hugely positive win over Sunderland and the acquisition of several exciting new players, I was worried the brief pause in the domestic schedule would feel more protracted and unbearable than this summer’s Suarez/Rooney/Bale transfer “sagas”.
There’s always the chance it will kill momentum, not to mention the looming threat of disastrous injuries.
Right on cue, Johnny Williams hobbled off after an hour against Macedonia with a reportedly twisted ankle which will see him miss the upcoming game against Manchester United.
If you had to put a bet on any of our squad picking up an injury while on international duty the smart money would always, always be on the Welshman.
Just as he missed our last trip to Old Trafford in 2011 through a broken leg received during training for Wales, the little midfield wizard will again miss a chance to terrorise the Red Devils because of the setback.
Luckily it’s nowhere near as severe as two years ago, but I had great belief in my last column that Williams should be given the opportunity to feature for Palace for longer than his usual cameo substitute appearances as soon as possible.
Miserably, now any opportunity will have to be put on hold for a week or two at least.
Thankfully KG and Mile Jedinak avoided injuries. But being realistic, they’re two players always more likely to inflict than receive knocks and bumps anyway.
Despite all of this (and the Palace-abyss in general), the excruciating weekend of World Cup qualifiers wasn’t as dire as I’d feared.
In fact, more damaging than anything involving national teams was the news on Wednesday that Ian Holloway has been handed a two-match touchline ban for his opening day antics against Spurs.
Banned: Ian Holloway will not be allowed on the touchline for two games Picture: Tony Wood
It’d be nice if one of those two games could be used up on Tuesday in the peculiar friendly against Oman.
Sadly Holloway will watch both United and Swansea from the stands instead. Considering his usual “hands on” approach - lots of gesturing and shouting - it’s likely his absence will be sorely felt.
But this is the price we all have to pay for his illogical outburst. Let’s hope it’s the last time we shoot ourselves in the foot this season.
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