Palace's survival story fit for the big screen

Posted by Jim Daly

Crystal PalacePA PhotosCrystal Palace players salute the travelling fans after sealing safety at West Ham on Saturday.

"Dedication's what you need, if you want to be a record breakeeeerrrrr!"

I've never broken a record, unless you count watching all five seasons of "Breaking Bad" in a month a record -- which it might be -- but the current Palace team are indeed record breakers. And multiple record breakers at that.

Before this season, the Eagles had never stayed in the Premier League longer than one season and now, thanks to the 1-0 win at West Ham (and the four wins that proceeded it in a row) have mathematically secured their top flight status for next campaign. Continue Reading...

Tony Pulis deserves Manager of Year award

Posted by Jim Daly

Tony Pulis during the superb victory at Everton.GettyImagesTony Pulis during the superb victory at Everton.

I bloody love a cliche so let's kick off today's column with another; you don't know what you've got till it's gone. It's not just Joni Mitchell who thinks this (when she isn't hanging around in car parks -- weirdo) but I think football fans should heed her words, especially Palace supporters right now.

Three amazing results in 10 days have all but secured the Eagles' top flight status for next season; the first time they have ever been promoted to the Premier League and stayed there. Continue Reading...

Superstitions play a part as Palace win again

Posted by Jim Daly

Christopher Lee/Getty ImagesOnce again, Jason Puncheon was the hero for Crystal Palace.

A lot of football fans are superstitious. Some of them wear lucky scarves, lucky shirts and/or lucky pants to games. Some footballers are superstitious, too; some wear lucky shin pads or have pre-match rituals.

I'm in no way superstitious. I've watched Palace long enough to know that they almost revel in ruining pre-match predictions and routines. But I think I might have genuinely stumbled across a ritual that actually works for the Eagles; me.

I've actually missed the last three Palace games. Continue Reading...

Hostility to one side in Palace-Brighton charity game

Posted by Jim Daly

AllsportCrystal Palace's bitter rivalry with Brighton turns into something good when fans take the pitch for a charity match.

Like most football fans I always dreamed of playing for my club. In my case, it's that dream where you turn up to Selhurst Park in your full Eagles kit just in case they have a horrible outbreak of some disease that decimates the subs bench minutes before kickoff and they need someone from the crowd!

You leg it down to the front of the stand and are hurriedly whisked to the side of the pitch before being chucked on up front. The ball then falls almost immediately to you. You swing that trusty right peg and the contact is sweet, and it flies past the keeper before he can even react. Continue Reading...

Palace on verge of safety celebration

Posted by Jim Daly

Steve Bardens/Getty ImagesJason Puncheon's double helped power Palace to victory in Wales.

Almost 21 years ago, May 1993, Palace had just played their final home game of the first ever Premier League season, beating Ipswich 3-1. Survival, although not mathematically assured, was all but confirmed. Forest were long gone and Middlesbrough looked doomed meaning the only team who could catch the Eagles were Oldham, but they had to get results against Liverpool, Southampton and top of the table Aston Villa the next day to stand any chance of leapfrogging Palace.

So after dispatching Ipswich at Selhurst, the Eagles team took part in a pre-emptive relegation survival lap of honour. Continue Reading...

Family matters for Crystal Palace

Posted by Jim Daly

Crystal Palace fans unfurl a banner against Man Utd.GettyImagesCrystal Palace fans unfurl a banner against Man Utd.

Being a football fan is a weird thing. You're born into a family of thousands (or millions depending on the club you support) with no idea about any of the other people in this "family" except that they like that bunch of 11 players on a pitch as much as you do. And like a real family you can't choose them. This is assuming you are given your team -- like I was -- from your parents with little choice. My dad was a Palace fan and thus I was a Palace fan, even though when I was born in the mid 80s the Eagles were very much experiencing some of their darkest days. Continue Reading...

Perfect Palace take down Prem leaders

Posted by Jim Daly

Every now and then a result comes along that is so spectacularly, unexpectedly brilliant that it's hard to put what it means into words (which is unfortunate when that's your job). It's happened a few times before with Palace: the FA Cup win at the great Leeds United in 1976, the semi-final win over cup holders and media darlings Liverpool in 1990, and the League Cup win at Old Trafford in 2011 thanks to a Darren Ambrose howitzer from 4,000 yards.

But until now Palace hadn't really had a big league victory to be really proud of, and you have to go back to 1972 for a classic top flight win over a big name when Manchester United came to Selhurst Park and were sent packing five goals to nil. Continue Reading...

Frustrating goalless skid continues for Palace

Posted by Jim Daly

513 minutes. That's nearly nine hours. That's 18 episodes of Family Guy. That's a flight to Eastern Europe and back. That's one James Cameron movie. It's also the amount of time that has passed since Palace last scored a goal from open play -- which was Joe Ledley's thunderbolt header against West Brom six weeks ago.

- Report: Newcastle 1-0 Crystal Palace

Since then Palace have scored two penalties -- Marouane Chamakh also in that win over the Baggies and Glenn Murray at Swansea two weeks later. Continue Reading...

Gayle gamble could pay off for Palace

Posted by Jim Daly

Now I'm not very good at maths (even though my dad is an accountant). In fact, I'm terrible at maths; my tax return is proof of this. You'd have thought I might have got some math skills from my pops, but I got zero. And yet, even I think I can work out the latest equation that is flummoxing the staff at Crystal Palace.

- Report: Sunderland 0-0 Crystal Palace

You see goals have been a big problem for the Eagles this season. They are the lowest scorers in the Premier League and their top league scorer is Marouane Chamakh with five. Continue Reading...

No fun Palace all part of survival plan

Posted by Jim Daly

"Feels so good being bad," sang Rihanna in one of her famous songs, but I disagree with old Ri-Ri; it's no fun being bad at all -- certainly now when it comes to watching Palace.

You see, over the last few weeks the team have slowly started to mould into Tony Pulis' old side Stoke. Any creativity, guile or attractiveness has been eradicated and replaced with an all round desire to not be beaten, which makes for some pretty dull viewing.

On Saturday the Eagles went to Sunderland, one of a host of teams still battling it out with the Eagles down in the bottom of the Premier League table to avoid the drop. Continue Reading...

Stable power needed in Palace's final furlongs

Posted by Jim Daly

Sire de GrugyPA PhotosThe winning connections of Sire de Grugy of The Preston Family & Friends Ltd celebrate.

There was a rare high-profile victory for Palace this week that caused a stir amongst Eagles fans and brought a much-needed smile to our faces. OK, it wasn't actually in the football, it was in the horse racing where Sire De Grugy won the Champion Chase at Cheltenham Festival and was then draped in red and blue scarves thanks to his Palace supporting owner Steve Preston.

It isn't always we get to see the glorious red and blue in the winner's enclosure (well, unless you're a Barcelona fan I guess) but seeing an actual Palace winner lapping up the adulation was brilliant. Continue Reading...

Air of uncertainty hanging over Palace

Posted by Jim Daly

I just can't figure out this Palace team. One week they look super confident and like they can take on the world and the next they seem like a group players who have never even met before, let alone played football on the same team. It's like the football equivalent of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, only without all the blood and gore.

It's a frustrating experience for any Palace fan, especially with the number of games left in the Premier League this season rapidly disappearing -- quicker than Marouane Chamakh's hairline. Continue Reading...