CPFC DSA – The Chairman’s View – March 2023

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson

No points in March

Well March turned out to be quite interesting for Crystal Palace, ending with no points gained, the sacking of Patrick Vierra and the re-appointment of Roy Hodgson.

We started off at Villa Park and to be honest I don't think we played that bad. 

The game started on a very positive note and with just four minutes on the clock Eze takes the ball in his stride and plays Wilf in behind, Wilf dribbles round the keeper and scores. However after a lengthy VAR check the goal was ruled offside by the smallest of margins.

After this disappointment Palace were unable to capitalise on their pressure. On 27 minutes Joachim Andersen scored an unfortunate own goal to gift Villa the lead. After this I think we struggled a bit and was pretty lucky not to go into the break 2-0 down with Watkins coming very close just before the whistle. 

After this we're back at Selhurst to play Man City, a game designated as the Level Playing Field “Unite For Access” day. We were lucky enough to have a visit from Owain Davies, the LPF CEO, who gave a speech to the fans in the Fanzone. I also spoke about the CPFC DSA and its role around the club. I hope those of you that heard this found it helpful. 

After this myself and the rest of the committee had the privilege of having our photo taken pitchside along with Nicola Gibbons, Rhianna Odartey, Eberechi Eze and Joel Ward. 

So on to the game and another really tough fixture on paper. I honestly thought we came out pretty well and managed to contain them. We were so unlucky not to go a goal up with Wilf hitting the post. A goal then could have really turned the game in our favour. But things just never went our way, and in a very tight game with very few chances for both sides, we unfortunately conceded a penalty just 10 mins from the final whistle. It was no surprise when Erling Haaland stepped up to score. Although we played hard the equaliser never came. Another unlucky result in my opinion.

The second half started much the same way as the first ended. On 60 minutes, after two quick fouls in succession, Cheick Doucoure sees red and we're left to play out the rest of the game with 10 men.

CPFC DSA supporting Level Playing Fields Unite For Access Day at Crystal Palace FC

Next up was the evening game down at Brighton who hadn't beaten us for 4 years, so we travelled down feeling rather positive and maybe a bit hopeful. Although we pressed very hard and defended well, Solly March finished a good team goal after 15 minutes. Despite our pressure the game ended with another narrow loss and needless to say the trip back home was a very quiet one.

Then came the news that maybe a few of us were expecting. Palace decided to part company with Patrick Vierra. Paddy McCarthy stepped in as interim manager for the Arsenal game, with lots of speculation about who would come in for the final run up to the end of the season. 

Before that we had to face a very strong Arsenal side who were still top of the league. Paddy made 3 changes to the starting 11 with Ward, Tomkins and Milivojevic coming into replace Clyne, Andersen, who was injured in the warm up and Lokonga who as an on loan Arsenal player couldn't play against them. Joe Whitworth kept his place in goal after a fine performance at Brighton.

Yet again Palace started intensely and 11 minutes into the game saw Wilf unleash a shot which was denied by the post. We've had some really bad luck and if things had gone slightly differently we could have been in a much better place by now. 

Despite the bright start from us Arsenal grew into the game and went in at the break 2-0 up. The second half carried on as the first with Arsenal completely dominating. I was quite pleased though in the way we never seemed to give up. Unfortunately Granit Xhaka made it 3-0 on the 55th minute pretty much wrapping up the game for them. 

Then came some hope for us with Jeffery Schlupp scoring on the hour mark and although we pressed hard to get something from the game we left the door open for Saka to score his second with 15 minutes to go.

So to the international break,  a 2 week rest from the Premier League and the appointment of Roy Hodgson for the remainder of the season. Giving him a bit of time before our game with Leicester on April Fools Day to maybe change things around and keep us up.

I must thank Patrick for all he has done at the club and wish him all the success in the future but also we all need to get behind Roy and the team now. As Roy says we “the Fans” can make a difference by showing our full support.

So onwards and upwards let's get behind the boys.

Be Loud

Be Proud 

Be Palace 

Dave May 

Chairman CPFC DSA


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