The brand new Premier League season is simply across the nook. So whereas referees have been wetting their whistles and groundsmen portray recent traces on pitches, Crystal Palace and Patrick Vieira might be reflecting on what can solely be thought of a constructive pre-season.
Whereas the aim of pre-season is generally for health restoration in gamers and implementing new signings into the squad, it does supply the chance for followers to get a glimpse of what could also be in retailer for his or her membership within the coming season.
With the introduction of latest first-team signings, equivalent to Cheick Doucouré, Malcolm Ebiowei, and Sam Johnstone, Palace are actually persevering with their profitable switch coverage of shopping for younger gifted prospects who match into Vieira’s desired system.
So listed below are 4 takeaways from Palace’s preseason, the Good, Dangerous, and the Ugly (however largely good):
Zaha is able to proceed his record-breaking goal-scoring type:
Zaha is presently Palace’s high aim scorer this preseason, with 4 objectives on his tally (printed earlier than Palace’s remaining preseason match in opposition to Montpellier on 30th July). After having a self-record-breaking goal-scoring season final yr with 14 objectives within the Premier League, Zaha appears to be like to proceed his position as Palace’s main aim risk.
It’s not simply the numbers he’s producing however the method of his objectives, as effectively. Zaha’s opener in opposition to Gillingham was a typical Zaha show, along with his dazzling footwork to beat his man earlier than inserting an correct and highly effective shot handed the Gills’ ‘keeper Jake Turner.
Additionally, Zaha’s excellent outside-the-box effort in opposition to QPR rocketed into the highest proper nook, which from first-hand expertise, despatched the away assist right into a frenzy, regardless of the match being a pleasant.
Experiences from Media Foot recommend that Chelsea are desirous about signing Zaha, whereas Tuttomercatoweb reported that Roma have an curiosity in signing Zaha this summer season, which reveals that the Palace talisman is highly-rated amongst elite European soccer golf equipment.
Regardless of this, nothing concrete has emerged as of but and Zaha, a lot to the delight of Palace followers, appears to be like set to remain at Selhurst Park for an additional season within the hopes that he can proceed his goal-scoring prowess into the approaching season.
Malcolm Ebiowei is the true deal:
Comparatively remarkable when he signed for Palace firstly of July, Malcolm Ebiowei has proven what he’s about in his restricted minutes this preseason.
Making his debut in opposition to Liverpool in Palace’s Tour of Singapore and Australia, Ebiowei managed to show most of the attributes that Palace followers are enthusiastic about. A nutmeg, constant ball-carrying, and skill to take care of possession at his toes and cross the ball off – abilities past his years.
Towards Manchester United, the previous Derby County man’s ability and composure have been an excessive amount of for United’s Fred, who bought an ideal view of Ebiowei’s ensuing shot from the ground.
Naturally, comparisons between Ebiowei and Zaha emerged, and rightly so. Each have tough toes, composure on the ball, and a behavior of manufacturing highly effective low-driven strikes at opposition goalkeepers.
The extent of opposition Ebiowei is taking part in in opposition to can also be important as a result of, regardless of Palace dropping each their video games to Liverpool and United, Ebiowei confirmed that he can play and categorical his fashion in opposition to elite-level opposition – a participant able to deal with the Premier League.
Leaky defensive issues?:
Conceding 14 objectives in 7 video games is usually relegation type. Nonetheless, it is rather not like Palace to have scored 17 objectives in those self same 7 video games, so whereas Palace have been getting outcomes this preseason, the defence might be a priority for Vieira coming into subsequent season.
Admittedly, Palace’s squad has been separated, with many first-team gamers, together with Joachim Andersen, Jean-Philippe Mateta, and Vincente Guaita will not be with the majority of first-team gamers who stayed in England for his or her preseason.
The primary alternative XI haven’t performed collectively on the similar time this preseason, so this may give Vieira and Palace some peace of thoughts – however repeated issues from set-pieces and generally being unable to clear the ball from the field.
Palace’s first conceded aim at Gillingham noticed defenders unable to clear a pin-balling ball earlier than Olly Lee backheels Gillingham’s opener as if he was taking part in FIFA Road. Or in opposition to Liverpool, when Jordan Henderson’s opener was a results of a wonderful end, however poor man-marking because the Liverpool captain was given far an excessive amount of area and time to ping a ball handed Guaita.
This isn’t a definitive difficulty as of but. Final season, Palace had each Marc Guehi and Tyrick Mitchell known as as much as the senior England squad, and Guehi and Andersen have been each first and second for Progressive Passing Yards of all Premier League defenders outdoors the ‘Prime 6’ – Mitchell himself locations fifth on this record additionally.
The defence is superb, however the lack of time collectively for Palace’s first-choice defenders this preseason might hinder Palace firstly of the season.
The energy of youth stars:
Within the 74th minute of Palace’s match in opposition to Liverpool, Vieira changed all of the remaining first-team outfield gamers on the pitch with academy merchandise.
All however Guaita have been getting their first-ever expertise in opposition to Premier League opposition, and all gamers held their very own and performed very effectively, gaining helpful expertise within the course of.
The redevelopment of the Academy was accomplished in October 2021, with world-class coaching amenities and Class-1 Academy standing. Palace followers have since been excited to reap the rewards of such an academy, particularly contemplating the wealth of footballing expertise in South London – now we’re seeing these rewards.
Academy standouts embrace Jake O’Brien, who scored in opposition to Millwall, and Killian Philips, who impressed in opposition to Liverpool from midfield. In addition to Tayo Adaramola – one of many Academy’s most extremely rated prospects, who has just lately joined Championship facet Coventry Metropolis on mortgage.
The way forward for Palace appears to be like very brilliant when contemplating the standard and amount of Palace’s youth stars, who will little doubt be in search of extra first-team minutes beneath Vieira, who has each intention of incorporating youth all through the season.
There are nonetheless extra issues for Palace followers to be enthusiastic about for the approaching season – the return of Eberechi Eze after a season stunted by damage, the introduction of latest goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and the prospect of younger signings earlier than the switch window closes on the finish of August.
One thing could possibly be taking place this season at Selhurst Park.