Woosie's Words: Tough to decide whether I love or hate Crystal Palace in Premier League
The invention of the devil, or a heaven for football; I can’t really decide how I see the Premier League.
Call me fickle but one minute I hate the fact that Palace are in the top flight and the next I love it.
As Palace fought for a dogged, determined victory over West Ham on Tuesday night, and results went our way the following evening, I found myself quietly confused.
The first half was drab and dire. Neither side looked like they belonged in the top flight, which sadly is something which can be said of Palace a few times this season.
The second half, on the other hand, was fascinating. Not because it was a half of fluid crisp high quality football, but because the real core values that epitomise football were on show from the Palace side.
Determination and a real desire to be first to the ball and keep hold of those precious three points were evident.
As Palace broke into a counter attack to send Cameron Jerome one on one with Jussi Jaaskelainen I found myself on my feet urging him on, just as I did many times last season, lost in the moment and not caring about what anyone thought of me!
I don’t support Palace to see winning football, although that is a rather attractive bonus. The game was exciting in the end because of the resolve shown by the Palace players. A victory really galvanised the supporters again, people were thinking ‘hang on a minute, if we can grind out results like this then maybe, just maybe we can stay up.’
Of course we will lose more matches than we will win this season, but play like that and the Premier League may well be surprised to see Crystal Palace plying its trade there next season.
What relevance does this have to me being ‘fickle’?
Well, I actually dislike the Premier League immensely, but there are positives to being up there taking on the best in the country. It represents greed, corporatism, and the idea that everything must be dictated by money.
So when a plucky little club like Palace go to the greats like Manchester United and win, it upsets the apple cart a little bit.
Winning in the Premier League against teams with multi-million pound signings: is that much better than going to Huddersfield on a freezing cold Tuesday night to see us lose? Sure it doesn’t quite match beating Brighton in the play-off semi-final but it’s still great.
It doesn’t particularly bother me which league Palace are in, I’ve said before I’d rather be in the Championship where anything can happen, anyone can beat anyone.
Nothing this season will top either beating Brighton twice or singing ‘we’re Crystal Palace, we’re top of the league’ on a terrace following a dramatic victory against Peterborough, but in its own way there will be some fantastic moments this season.
A win at Fulham on the final day to keep us up. Essentially, I just want what is best for the progression of the football club, which ultimately constitutes being in the Premier League because of the financial reward.
If Palace can build a club, a team that can compete and not lose every week in the Premier League than that would be the ideal situation, to almost mirror what we have been used to in the Championship; a brief flirtation with relative success but a stable club.
Stuff it; give me the chance to watch Palace in the Championship under a club legend as manager, watching games on a terrace but also keeping the Premier League money, playing attractive football and riding the crest of a wave. For that I’d bite your hand off.
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