Who Are Yer?: Crystal Palace
Who Are Yer? interviews Palace nut Jon Stayton this week. As he sent me the answers he was sat in his pants eating salt and vinegar squares - typical southern shandy drinker!
1. Where do you think you'll finish this season?
Before we drew with Reading, Southampton and then Preston in January I was confident we could make a real push for second place. Reading look class and they’re as good as up, but second place was still open to us. Those dropped points blew it for us though and now we’re looking at the play-offs again. There’s no way we won’t make the top six so anywhere from third to sixth will do us now – though it’d be nice to avoid Leeds. It’s a strange feeling. We expect to be in the play-offs and are just playing out the rest of the season before the fireworks really begin. Our last game’s at Sheffield United (spit) so hopefully we can do you guys a favour and rob them of automatic promotion and draw them back into the play-off lottery!
2. You've kept Andy Johnson - how long do you think he'll still be at Selhurst Park?
I can’t believe we’ve kept him this long – not because I’d have thought he’d want to go, but because I can’t understand how we could turn down a reputed £9m bid. That money could have bought us three or four class players in this division. Instead we doubled his wages to 25k a week and could well lose him for a fraction of the amount we were offered last summer. If we don’t go up he’ll go but if we do I see no reason for him to leave.
3. What are your views on Iain Dowie?
You mean the messiah?! When he arrived in December 2003 we were one place above the relegation zone. Six months later we were a Premiership team again. That says it all – how can he not be loved! We were so close to staying up last year, and now have a very real chance of another promotion this term. His training methods are certainly unique – including swimming, boxing, and salsa dancing – yes salsa! But it seems to work and there’s no doubt he’s got the backing of the chairman, players, and fans.
4. What about Simon Jordan?
What was that Simon? “Points are pointless.” Hmmm. Well he may say some interesting things but he’s beginning to show he’s learned a lot in his five and a half years at the club. He readily admits he was naïve when he started out. But he stepped in after the debacle that was the Mark Goldberg and Terry Venables era to save the club from certain extinction – and will always be thanked for that. He’s probably the most outspoken football chairman in the land and opposition fans often take a dislike to that – particularly Birmingham’s after the much publicised Karen Brady and Steve Bruce farce – still, we got AJ out of it! He’s a man who says what he believes and sticks to it. Even if it’s something you disagree with, you cant help but admire his principles. We didn’t sign Tim Cahill in the summer before our brief soiree in the top flight because the agent was scamming the club. The principle there is clearly right, but maybe once in a while Mr Jordan needs to swallow his pride?
5. Have you signed anyone in the recent transfer window?
Nope, not a soul.
6. Who are your danger men?
I guess you can’t really look past our front line which must be one of, if not the, best in the division. John Macken, a summer buy from Man City has struggled to fit in and has been hampered by a succession of injuries but is beginning to come to form. AJ of course is our top scorer again and his pace is phenomenal. He’ll play on the shoulder of the last man and look to burst through at every opportunity. His work-rate can’t be faulted – he, and Michael Hughes in midfield, will be the last men chasing every ball. Then there’s Clinton Morrison who’s always in the right place at the right time and is probably the best natural finisher we’ve had here since the days of Wright and Bright. Just behind the front two will be the magician that is Dougie Freedman. He’s the one who pulls the strings, and if he’s on form the team will be firing.
7. If you could take one player to the Palace team from Wednesday who would it be and why?
Based purely on your result against our “friends” from Bermondsey last weekend it’d have to be Frankie Simek!! And as a bonus he’s a left-back isn’t he? A position we’ve been struggling to fill with the absence of Danny Granville. We were after Leon Best during the transfer window so it’ll be good to see just what we’ve missed out on.
8. If you could send one player to the Wednesday team from Palace who would it be and why?
That’s a nasty question! I hope he doesn’t read this but it’d have to be Gary Borrowdale. He’s an England U/21 left-back but has struggled this year. Unfortunately he’s been responsible for a few of the goals we’ve conceded. He’s got potential though and is only 20 so you could only have him on loan!
9. What's your most memorable Wednesday Vs Palace match?
I remember three games in a row between us ended 4-1. The first was in 2000 and for some reason you guys were all in fancy dress. I seem to remember Postman Pat got a fair bit of stick that day! The Wednesday fans were cheering our goals (god knows why!) so we cheered theirs! The game wasn’t particularly good but the fans were fantastic! Then there was the end of the 1990/1 season when you went 2-1 up to finish in a European place and started singing 'We are all going on a European tour' before Mark Bright popped up with a header to mean you couldn’t win the title. You still made it into Europe – finishing third – the same position we did the year before when we didn’t get in.
10. How do you think Wednesday will do for the remained of the season?
I can’t see Wednesday going down. There are worse teams in this division. April will be a big month though with six-pointers at Crewe, Brighton and Derby. All it takes in this division is a couple of wins and the whole complexion changes. As it stands today, two wins and Wednesday are into mid-table. Lets just hope those points don’t come on Saturday!
11. Finally, what do you think the score will be?
All the fans I know are fairly confident about this one and after our dismal performance on Tuesday the team should be right up for it so I’ll go for a palace win. I can’t see it being easy so I’ll go for a late winner and 2-1 to the Londoners.
(b)CHEERS JON! Good luck on Saturday (not that you'll need it!) and with the rest of the season!