Goring-based Crystal Palace supporter Stan Mayle will be pleased to know that I won’t be starting this week’s column with any sour grapes.
Palace’s 3-0 victory against the Albion on Saturday was ultimately deserved. Clearly, Brighton going down to 10 men with the sending off of Lewis Dunk after four minutes didn’t help and, while the missed chances from Ashley Barnes and Craig Mackail-Smith might have acted as turning points had they been converted, in the end, the score was a fair reflection.
In these times of some footballers not behaving in a manner they should, I think special mention needs to go to ex-Albion striker, Glenn Murray, who appeared not to over celebrate either of his goals on Saturday. And, ultimately, decided against the chance of bagging a hat-trick by not taking the second penalty.
With a tinderbox situation at Selhurst Park, had he been forewarned by the Metroploitan Police? Somehow, I doubt it. Regardless of what a number of Albion fans might now think of him, in all my media dealings with him when he was at Brighton, I always found him to be a decent young man.
Obviously, he could read the situation on Saturday and decided “giving it large” after both of his goals wasn’t a good idea.
In fact, talk of Murray by Gus Poyet in the pre-match build-up was, in my opinion, a bit of an own goal. To come out and apparently say that the Albion couldn’t afford to keep Murray is a bit of a strange one, given that, in the summer of 2011, the club spent nearly £4million on players who play in the same position.
In my mind, there’s no doubt that the actual cause was the classic footballing personality clash between the two parties. I haven’t got an issue with that and, in taking sides, it has to be a case of in Gus we trust. But the “can’t afford” stance is almost an insult to the intelligence of a large number of the club’s supporters.
We now move on to a pre-Christmas quartet of games. Anything less than a nine-point return will see us drop away even more from play-off contention.
Let’s not dress it up, Tony Bloom is a very shrewd man, and if we are in contention come the opening of the transfer window, he will splash the cash. With the TV deal at its peak next season, this is the year to get promoted.