Promotion for Palace?: That's Preposterous
Neil Warnock’s recent capture of Darren Ambrose after a short drive across the boroughs of Southwark and Greenwich appears to be a sensible enough purchase for Crystal Palace, even if the 25 year old’s career is on the wane. A starlet at Ipswich, Ambrose was on the fringes at Newcastle before a five year spell as an Addick that has seen him relegated twice. The brylcreem using utility man has performed capably for Charlton, but his wage levels are likely to have become an albatross as they have tumbled through the divisions.
After his spell beside the river, he will venture into the Deep South and encounter a promising bevy of new team mates. Chief among these is the dashing Victor Moses, who arrived on the scene two or three seasons ago now. Warnock won’t have enjoyed the club’s mediocre 2008-9 mid table campaign, but it at least kept some of his more adroit performers out of the headlines; so Moses, the lively Aussie (and Jimmy Connors lookalike) Nick Carle and full back Nathaniel Clyne should be allowed another season to develop at Selhurst.
The foundations for Palace are founded on a rock hard back line, and one that unashamedly operates just one step in front of the law. Clint Hill likes a shirt tug or two and opposing strikers are blue after any encounter. Paddy McCarthy missed much of the season through injury but is equally uncompromising. Further forward, Sean Derry’s sliding tackles are legendary after many years at this level and the Eagles can be an immoveable force. Only the tricks of Moses defer the impression of a typical Warnock side — up and at ‘em and all blood and guts, essentially limited and unlikely to worry the trophy engravers. Hopes for this season will rest on the success or otherwise of young Freddie Sears, as highlighted in these pages in June. Either way, the boys from the Croydon borders are destined not to live up to the outlandish claim made by the star of I Ludicrous’s eighties indie anthem Preposterous Tales: “I once saw the Palace score four goals away from home.”