Anthony Gardner, like Thierry Henry, scores a goal
“It was a dream, a story you’d tell a young kid,” said Dougie Freedman. “Unfortunately it’s not often like that in our game but sometimes it happens. He’s done it all. You could see straight away that he had a presence on the pitch and, if we could find him, he’d be dangerous.”
“He’s sharp, physically. I’d seen that in training and I wouldn’t have used him if he wasn’t ready. But he was already a legend here. Now he’s added just a bit more to the whole story.”
“He feels some pressure still. He’s a proud guy and doesn’t want to disappoint people. That’s what champions are all about. He wants to be seen as someone who always does well. It’s a kind of combat and you want that to be a success as a player. But he remains a special player.”
The Cardiff manager, Malky Mackay, had claimed the defender’s impact had been “written in the stars”.
“It’s all kind of weird,” Gardner said. “The feeling I had when I scored was amazing.”
“It wasn’t the plan [to end up as the hero]. I will always remember tonight. I don’t know why but, when it comes to Palace, something happens with me. Sometimes in a bad way but most of the way in history in a good way.”
“When he was in this position to score”, said Freedman, “I thought: ‘Oh, that’s your angle but it’s a bit too close.’ That’s where he surprised me. He didn’t force the header and still made it look easy. I thought he was a bit too far to the right to pull it off but he always had that special finishing. That was Anthony Gardner finishing.”
Disclaimer: These quotes aren’t real, obviously. They’re taken from here. I’m just imagining a parallel universe for a second. And it’s only half time at the time of writing. He’ll probably score a couple of own goals now, the poor lamb.