Wanted from new boss: A little love

Posted by Jim Daly

Shaun Botterill/Getty ImagesCrystal Palace fans don't ask for much, but a little love from the new manager will be very greatly appreciated at Selhurst Park.

Dear new Crystal Palace manager (at the time of writing no one but former Manchester United assistant Rene Muelensteen is favourite, according to the bookmakers):

My name is Jim, I'm a big Crystal Palace fan (is there any other kind?) and have been all my life. Mainly because when I was old enough to understand words, my father told me I had a choice between becoming a Crystal Palace fan like him or leaving the house. I had a good long think about it and chose to be a Palace fan. In fact, my dad defied his own dad by becoming an Eagles fan even though his father was a Tottenham supporter after being taken to a Spurs-Palace game for the first time. I think he has daddy issues.

Anyway, as a result of being a Palace fan for the last 23 years, I've seen the club go into adminitstraion twice, get relegated from the Premier League four times, seen hundreds of players pass through and seen the club change managers a staggering 25 times (although five of those were Steve Coppell).

You are number 26 and I couldn't be happier to welcome you to our club. I'm sorry about Selhurst Park, it needs a lick of paint and if I were you I wouldn't accept a cup of tea from anyone in the Main Stand. Just trust me on that one. Perhaps you were expecting an actual Palace? If so, do some bloody research next time!

I am totally unqualified in any way whatsoever to offer any technical advise to you, dear manager, as you arrive at our beloved club, but I nonetheless here are some tips on how to win over the Selhurst faithful.

1) Acknowledge the fans. We Palace fans are not a demanding breed of folk. I mean how can we be when we pay our money to watch what we are served up most weeks at Selhurst?! In fact, we are probably some of the most easygoing fans around. A goal now and then would be nice and, hell, maybe even a win! But we will more than likely to back you to the hilt if you pay lip service to us.

We work hard during he week to afford the tickets to come and watch the club, and then work even harder during 90 minutes to sing our hearts out, make banners, and generally let it all out in the name of CPFC. Telling the world's press you think we are aces will help our relationship massively, and boost our self-esteem ahead of what will probably be a very tiring season. Ian Holloway did it, but a little too late, and by that time there were some fans that couldn't be turned around. Caretaker Keith Millen has done it since Day 1 and has every single fan behind him (not literally, that would be weird).

2) Keep the players' intensity up. In the last few games the Palace team have played with more gut-busting effort than they have all season and it's earned them a point, which could easily have been three or four. It might be a bit of a cliche of an English football fan for me to be pleading for more passion from the team, but I genuinely believe that is how Palace will win points. Against Everton that high intensity definitely made life uneasy for the in-form Toffees and if it wasn't for some terrible heading Palace could easily have won. T

The fans have a part to play here too, creating an intimidating atmosphere at games will help the Eagles team want to go that extra mile and put visiting teams under more pressure -- and we will do this every minute of every game. Palace will have to scrap for every point they can this season but that isn't actually hard to do, and as a result chances for goals might start coming our way.

3) Keep Millen at the club on some capacity. I know you will probably have your own back-room team coming in with you, but please keep Keith on somehow. He has been in temporary charge for three games and has helped the team improve massively in a short space of time. They look more confident, more threatening and more organised than at any time under Holloway.

The players clearly like and respect Millen and so do the fans. He is a local lad, a massive Palace fan and is a friendly chap. If you're looking to create an instant link with the fans keeping Keith will do just that.

The fans will back you whatever happens, new Palace manager, but if you can do these three simple things we will have a great start to our new relationship and, who knows, one that could even keep the Eagles in the Premier League if everyone is pulling in the same direction. (Oh, and avoid the pies in the Main Stand too. Seriously).




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