FM Crystal Clear: Building up the Palace

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December 22, 2016

PARDREW SACKED

Crystal Palace F.C. have today asked Alan Pardew to step down as Manager of the Club.

Club Chairman Steve Parish said, “I would like to put on record our sincere gratitude for the tremendous service Alan has given us, both in his time here as Manager and previously as a player.

Following a fantastic second half of 2014/15, the 2015/16 season culminated in only narrowly missing out on winning the FA cup as well as securing our Premier League place for a record breaking fourth time. During his tenure Alan’s hard work and dedication were without question, he has improved so many areas of the Club and we wish him the very best for the future."

With games now coming thick and fast over the holiday period the Club are hoping to put someone in place as quickly as possible but have nothing to say about a replacement at this time.
 

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December 22, 2016

OWEN HIRED

Crystal Palace F.C. have today appointed former Liverpool legend Michael Owen as manager for the remainder of the 2016/17 English Premier League season. Owen played 216 matches with the Reds, scoring 118 goals before representing Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and briefly, Stoke. Owen also made 89 senior appearances at international level for England, scoring 40 goals from 1998-2008.

Owen replaces Alan Pardrew who was sacked yesterday after a series of disappointing results that have left Crystal Palace in danger of relegation. So far in 2016/17 the Eagles have won six and drawn one game from 17, with 19 points of a possible 51. They sit in 14th having lost four of their last five games, just five points clear of the relegation zone with Everton a shock 18th place with just 14 points.

Owen is said to be relishing the opportunity to manage at Selhurst Park and the Crystal Palace supporters are sure to be hoping he can make a difference to their team.
 

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December 23, 2016

CRYSTAL PALACE SQUAD

Goal keepers: Steve Mandanda; Wayne Hennessey

Defenders: Joel Ward; James Tomkins; Damien Delaney; Scott Dann; Sebastien Bassong; Pape Souare.

Midfielders: James McArthur; Mathieu Flamini; Yohan Cabaye; Jason Puncheon; Lee Chung-Yong; Bakary Sako; Joe Ledley; Andros Townsend; Edin Visca; Jordon Mutch; Ravel Morrison.

Attacking Midfielder/Strikers: Wilfred Zaha; Connor Wickham; Loic Remy; Christian Benteke.

Injury list:
Christian Benteke (3 weeks)
Lee Chung-Yong (2-4 days)
Damien Delaney (4 months)

##

Best players thus far:

Scott Dann - Ave Rating: 7.12
Yohan Cabaye - Ave Rating: 7.05
Joe Ledley - Ave Rating: 7.00
Steve Mandala - Ave Rating: 6.94
 

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December 26, 2016

Crystal Palace vs. Chelsea

Unavailable: Christian Beneke (Injured), Loic Remy (can't play against loan club), Damian Delaney (Injured), Lee Chung-Yong (recovering from injury).

GK: Steve Mandanda
DR: Joel Ward
DC: Scott Dann
DC: James Tompkins
DL: Pape Souare
MC: Yohan Cabaye
MC: Joe Ledley
MC: Jordon Mutch
AMR: Edin Visca
AML: Wilfried Zaha
ST: Connor Wickham

Substitutes: Wayne Hennessey, Sebastien Bassong, Mathieu Flamini, James McArthur, Jason Puncheon, Andros Townsend, Ravel Morrison.

Michael Owen says: "We're definetely up against it here given injury and unavailability," he said. "Without a senior striker we're relying on Wickham to fill the load with Visca and Zaha on the wings. "I'm more keen to see how they perform in the 4-3-2-1 wide formation in terms of chances and restricting opposition chances. "Our defence is still intact so I'm hoping we are strong defensively."
 

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December 26, 2016

Crystal Palace 0 defeated by Chelsea 2

An Eden Hazard penalty was the difference between Crystal Palace and Chelsea in Michael Owen's debut match which saw the Eagles go down 2-0.

After an evenly poised first half, Wilfried Zaha was penalised for pushing Willian in the box handing Eden Hazard a penalty in the 51st minute which he scored truly. Chelsea doubled up in extra time with Willian scoring in the 90th minute but aside from the penalty the game had been neck and neck.

Crystal Palace had 13 shots to Chelsea's 15, but just three on target to nine. Steve Mandanda was impressive in goals saving seven shots while Edin Visca, Jordon Mutch, Joe Ledley and Scott Dann were rated as Crystal Palace's best in the loss.

Crystal Palace will now look ahead to a clash with Middlesbrough away on the final day of the year, December 31.
 

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December 31, 2016

Middlesbrough vs. Crystal Palace

Unavailable: Christian Beneke (Injured), Loic Remy (Injured), Damian Delaney (Injured).

GK: Steve Mandanda
DR: Joel Ward
DC: Scott Dann
DC: James Tompkins
DL: Pape Souare
MC: Yohan Cabaye
MC: Ravel Morrison
MC: Mathieu Flamini
AMR: Edin Visca
AML: Wilfried Zaha
ST: Connor Wickham

Substitutes: Wayne Hennessey, Sebastien Bassong, Jordon Mutch, James McArthur, Jason Puncheon, Andros Townsend, Joe Ledley.

Michael Owen says: "There was a blow during the week with Loic Remy pulling a hamstring and now he will miss another month," he said. "It was pretty devastating considering our injuries up front and with the transfer period upon us we will have to look for replacements. "I've given Mathieu Flamini and Ravel Morrison a chance in the middle because while both Mutch and Ledley were impressive, there's a three day turnaround to our next match against Hull. We need to win both so we're keen to rest a couple of our mids and play them for say 40 minutes."
 

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December 31, 2016

Crystal Palace 2 drew with Middlesbrough 2

A heartbreaking 88th minute goal from Alvaro Negredo has spoiled Michael Owen's sides' chance of victory after controlling the match for most of the 90 minutes. Connor Wickham scored with a lovely timed header in the 23 minute before a close range shot from Ravel Morrison made it 2-0.

Middlesbrough responded a few minutes later through Downing, but the Eagles maintained their composure to lead until the last couple of minutes when Negredo found space in the box and slammed it home. The loss was a disappointing one for Crystal Palace with just a few days until the must-win clash with cellar dwellers Hull City.
 
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