These Gary Lineker quotes could be some help to Wilfried Zaha

Written by FYP Fanzine

We all know how much abuse Wilf Zaha gets from opposition fans and players, it's almost got to pantomime villain levels where he seems to get it at pretty much every game even if he has zero history with that particular club or set of supporters.

They all now seem to know that booing him or booting him can wind him up to the point of fistraction or even land him in the referee's book, or worse, in the dressing room early. 

But according to England legend Gary Lineker, players like Wilf should actually revel in some of the attention they get from fans and opposition players because it points to something very important.

Whereas Wilf seems to take every kick and boo as a personal afront, former Leicester, Everton Barcelona and Tottenham goalcorer Lineker, who retired more than two decades ago and now fronts Match Of The Day, saw it differently.  

Wilf regularly tops the list of most fouled players in the Premier League but whereas he often reacts to having lumps kicked out of him, Lineker almost took the bruises as a badge of honour.

“If I was getting kicked and winning free-kicks, for me that was part of my job. If I'm getting fouled and kicked that's what I'm here for,” he said while speaking of the challenges he faced as a player on the BLANK Podcast, convenitnely hosted FYP legend Jim Daly and author and Palace fan Giles Paley-Phillips.

"Free-kick? Ok, get in the box, might score." 

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Lineker didn't single out Wilf specifically but the advice really does ring true for Palace's no.11 as Lineker detailed how he coped with the more brutal elements of the game, and this was three decades ago when fouls really were fouls.

He added: “The times when it really hurt and you might be a bit irked where you roll around...well, not rolling...screaming on the floor for a bit and by the time the pain goes away your temper goes away as well.”

That lack of a temper was seen as a quality for the striker, but he still took opportunities to complain at officials, something Wilf also has a decent ability for.

“I could moan at referees like anyone but I didn't abuse them. I wouldn't call them names I just moaned. I could moan. I was a moaner.

“Lots of refs would say 'you never stop moaning at us' I was like 'you never stop getting decisions wrong!'”

Lineker would tiptoe the line of decency towards officials and famously was never booked in a 16-year career, and would often manage to avoid getting booked for voicing his opinion....unlike Zaha.

Most recently, Wilf's complaints to referee Mike Dean against Chelsea prompted a request for captain Luka Milivojevic to intervene.

“I was a bit of a whinger...but not quite enough to get a booking. I certainly don't claim to be a saint but there are worse images to have,” he said.

Zaha is often singled out by opposing fans for abuse and derision, often in response to fouls, but Lineker says that abuse is typically a sign you’re a player they’re worried about.

“If they're singing and chanting about you it means they're worried about you. That was the way I used to look at it...or listen to it.

“So it was a good sign. If you're the player they're singing about on the opposition then you must be doing something right,” he said.

We've seen Wilf get ridiculous and undeserved yellow and red cards for reacting to opposition players and fans widing him up but if he took the abuse with the water-off-a-ducks-back approach that Lineker did he could spend more time on the pitch making those players and fans pay for it the only way he knows how.

Gary Lineker spoke with the award-nominated BLANK podcast about his life, career and personal matters. Click here to learn how to subscribe.

Listen to the latest FYP Podcast here

The FYP Podcast partners with The Athletic for the 2019/20 season

Written by FYP Fanzine


We are delighted to announce that for the 2019/20 season the main FYP Podcast is being supported by The Athletic.

You've probably heard about The Athletic by now; the US based subscription-only sports website that has moved into covering UK football and signed a world-class team of writers to cover the Premier League (and more!)

It means completely ad-free articles (no pop-ups or annoying banner ads) and the best football coverage for Crystal Palace and the rest of the footballing world (plus access to all their US sports content too.)

We think what The Athletic is doing is really cool and we're really excited to be involved, but what does it mean for the FYP Podcast?

It means the main podcast will stay free as it has done for, yikes...11 years! Wow, we're old. What we'll be doing each week is taking an article from The Athletic's coverage of Palace and using it as a discussion jumping off point.

Thanks to the Athletic's support, our studio fees for the season are covered meaning that the pod will continue to as professional as possible every week (including international breaks where we have some extra special podcasts planned) without the need for subscription fees. That's it.

We'll also have access to The Athletic's writing team to come on the podcast and chat Palace from time to time.

The Extraaa pod is also still here and is still just $3 a month via our Patreon, so if you were supporting us via Patreon for that, nothing changes. But we have seen other football podcasts offer a few other tings on their Patreon so we have done that too, introducing a few additional tiers so you can get some other FYP Podcast perks. Obviously, there are no obligations -- the main pod will be free.

We've also suspended Patreon payments for August meaning you can have a think about how you want to support the pod extra (if at all) and opt out should you want to.

So basically, everything is the same as last season; the main podcast remains free to everyone and the Extraaa podcast is still just $3 a month, but there are extra perks available should you want them.

That's it, we hope you'll continue to listen to the FYP Podcast main and Extraaa podcast and we're really excited about the season ahead.

Oh! And if you visit you can get your first month subscription to The Athletic for FREE and then 50% off for the rest of the year! Nice!


Crystal Palace's new away shirt is basically kit porn

Written by FYP Fanzine

WARNING: The images below will stop you doing anything else today

Look at that!😍

Palace have released their away kit for 2019/20 and it is a thing of beauty.

A twist on the evil sash of a few years ago with the trademark Puma red and white stripe down the sleeves and then this mish-mash red and blue double stripe down the front.

It's like the 1970s Don Rogers kit went to the gym and suddenly got serious ripped. 

Fair play to Puma who have nailed pretty much all the kits the Eagles have had for the past two seasons.

Scroll down to check these beauties out...

Palace's website says: "The stylish kit was shot down in south London’s Camberwell Studios, utilising four of Palace’s brightest products in Luke Dreher, Nya Kirby, Sam Woods and Tyrick Mitchell, with the club proud of the pathway it offers for rising stars to the first team. With seasoned pros Mamadou Sakho, Jeffrey Schlupp and Christian Benteke joining their teammates for the photoshoot.

"The return of the black away kit draws memories of recent Premier League campaigns with the 2013/14 and 2017/18 seasons seeing the Eagles don the black colours when away from SE25.

"Here's hoping the new, slick away kit results in more moments such as Dwight Gayle’s injury time winner away at Villa Park on Boxing Day in 2013 and Roy Hodgson’s half time tactical masterclass away at St Mary’s in January 2018."

There's also a video if you can't get enough of the new away shirt...

You can pre-order the away shirt here and we urge you all to do so before it inevitably sells out.

Julian Speroni - The Rise of a Palace Legend

Written by Naveed Khan

Julian Speroni is leaving. Naveed Khan looks at what made him such a true Palace great. 

Speroni clenched fist

I still remember where I was when we signed Julian Speroni – Karachi in 2004, using the slowest internet I have experienced, “Palace Sign Argentinian Star” was the headline. As I waited for page to open (it took ages), my mind wondered who it could be. A £400,00 goalkeeper from Dundee is not what I was expecting.

Nonplussed by the signing, one thing I did not envisage was that I would be writing about that goalkeeper 15 years later with immense sadness while reflecting on an unquantifiable contribution he has made to the club during his time here.

His journey as Palace’s custodian has not been without hardship; it was not without having to convince every manager he had here (apart from Ian Holloway) that he was the right man to be in goal. It was not without extreme highs or low lows. His journey has been, dare it be said, ‘typically Palace’. It’s been akin to the journey we go on as fans.

His home debut remained a curse over him for his first three seasons here – forgetting the saves he made on his debut against Norwich or the matches following Everton, trying to dribble past Kevin Campbell was an error people went back to for next four games that season. Dropped then by Iain Dowie, he would have to wait until the end of the 2006/7 season to be given a proper run in the side, despite Man of the Match performances when given a chance between that period. And that is what he was up against, in particular under Peter Taylor who had made him fourth choice. Yet, Jules stayed. He believed when many didn’t.

Speroni Liverpool away

READ MORE: Julian Speroni - A Man Who Touched Every Corner of Our Club

In 2007/8, as the team transitioned from Taylor to Neil Warnock, Speroni came into his own. Save after save, he won the team points as they charged towards the play-offs. In the following, largely nondescript season, he was one of the shining lights. Then came the administration season; not only one of the Hillsborough Heroes, his contributions throughout that season both pre and post the 10-point deduction meant that Palace stayed in the Championship – enabling CPFC2010 to take over the club. Without Jules, it is unimaginable where the club would have gone.

Yet, he had another battle to come; after deciding to remain loyal to Palace when other clubs were keen, George Burley thought he could do better than Jules. Burley got his just desserts. Speroni remained consistent in the time that followed and then those saves in the play-offs in 2013 are exactly why Palace are now able to embark up a seventh successive season in the Premier League.

The saves from Barnes and Deeney were not enough for Tony Pulis who looked to bring in a goalkeeper more to his liking. But so good was Jules on the way to his fourth Play of the Year award that Pulis simply could not drop him.

The following season, under Alan Pardew Palace had, to date, their best points total since returning to the top flight and Speroni was a key part of that. Despite that, the following season Pardew relegated him to third choice with little evidence that either of his preferred choices were better. But, again, he stayed professional and true. He next got a chance under Roy Hodgson against Chelsea where his mere presence seemed to boost a side with zero points and goals from their first seven games. He has been used sporadically since and now the journey has come to an end.

The above is just a recall of what has happened to Palace over the last 15 years; Jules’ own journey had him battling to establish himself, remaining patient, play-offs, administration, last day survival, promotion and surviving relegation from the Premier League. But it still, somehow, doesn’t really capture what he means to Palace and what Palace means to him. It’s like going on holiday, seeing the most beautiful scenery and taking a photo of it. The photo does not capture what you see and feel.

SD1 6389

READ MORE: How do Palace actually achieve progression in the Premier League?

Because Julian didn’t just go through the motions of those Palace events over the last 15 years. He felt them. He felt them how we as fans feel them. It wasn’t what he experienced, it was about how he experienced it. It wasn’t just about the 405 (please become 406) appearances and 112 clean sheets and the records he now owns. It was about how he carried himself throughout.

When he wasn’t playing, he was not complaining. When contract offers were not forthcoming, he was not snapping up the other opportunities that were there but waited for Palace. When he made a save, he made it feel like more than a save; almost as if we were making the save with him. When he made a mistake, it felt like we had all made a mistake – we didn’t dwell, we moved on. For a long time, it was unthinkable that someone else would be between the sticks for Palace.

Away from the pitch, there are many accounts from fans who have spoken about him going beyond. I know from personal experience that a request to send a card to a fan who had terminal cancer was met with a personal visit instead. That is a measure of him as a person; he never did just the minimum.

Emotion is what makes this sport stand out from the crowd. And that is the word which perhaps encapsulates Speroni’s time at Palace best – it’s been emotional. Mostly good, some difficult, but it has been that clichéd rollercoaster – what makes Jules different to all the others is that he’s felt every single bump, high and low with us.

Words like legend and icon get thrown about so often that they somehow feel insufficient for Jules. He is those things; and he is more. He is a legend. He is an icon. Most importantly, he is one of us. Manos De Dios; oh to just hear one more time “In goal, number 1 Julian Speroni”.

Survival Sunday - Crystal Palace's Hillsborough Heroics Remembered

Written by Robert Sutherland

There are moments in life that you look back on, key events in your timeline, that are so vivid that you can feel your hairs stand on end, you can taste the air you were breathing, remember where you were stood, the emotions you were feeling and the thoughts you were thinking. For many Palace fans, that memory is Survival Sunday. 

Survival Sunday was the final act in Palace's Hillsborough Heroes, a play that had Shakespearean ups and downs, newly portrayed in the excellent documentary produced by Crystal Palace's media team

As any bard will tell you, final acts require an entire script of build-up to that moment. Scenes need to be set. You need heroes and villains. Darren Ambrose -- a hero of this tale -- speaking to Palace for their brilliant Survival Sunday film, reminds us of the moment that changed that entire season, having just landed in Newcastle prior to that evening's match against the Magpies. 
"I got a message from my wife saying we'd just been put in administration," he says. 
"Then it was like a chain reaction, you heard everyone's phone going off at the same time. We landed in something like 21st place."
Every great play needs characters for whom you feel an affinity. Strong-willed individuals who don't let adversity define them. The kind of people who see hardship and fight it. Palace had plenty of those. 
"The spirit of this club seemed to raise after we were put into administration," says Ambrose. 
Shaun Derry, who captained that Palace side, said similar. 
"It was heartbreaking [when the club went into administration] and it changed everyone's intentions for the rest of the season."
Survival Sunday pitched Palace against Sheffield Wednesday in a winner-takes-all battle of wills and determination.
Palace just had to secure a point to stay up; Wednesday needed all three. But while Palace had the advantage of having two potential winning outcomes, Wednesday had the backing of a packed out Hillsborough. However, every adversary has an Achilles heel. Or makes a telling error. For Wednesday it was giving the red and blue army the entire West Stand -- more than 6000 tickets. 
"When we turned up there were thousands of Palace fans all screaming and wanting us to give it our best," says Ambrose,
"The noise throughout the whole game, from the moment we stepped off the bus to the service station at the end, the noise was absolutely unreal." 
Goals from Alan Lee and Darren Ambrose twice gave the Eagles the advantage, but Palace love to make it difficult for themselves (how else would they script such amazing drama as consistently as they do?) and equalisers from Leon Clarke and then Darren Purse twice pulled the game back into the balance. 
Johnny Ertl, also speaking to Crystal Palace, summed the match up. 
"There was so much tension around. 
It was a battle. It wasn't football of the finest, but it was a real battle," he said.
Palace finished the game, the season and the show with a draw that sealed survival and consigned Wednesday to League 1 football. With Clint Hill fighting his way through Wednesday fans to get back to the changing room, arms flaying as punches were aimed at him, the protagonists celebrated as a team. A team that left its mark on their manager. 
Paul Hart, parachuted in to help stabilise the club after the departure of Neil Warnock, recalls what managing Palace meant to him. 
"Everywhere I go, people ask me about the clubs I've loved being at, and Crystal Palace is at the top of the list," he said.
"People don't realise what sort of a club it is. About the people that work within it, the supporters. And at the time the players that were around, it was a real pleasure to be here." 
Palace were saved. And just a few seasons later were promoted to the Premier League. 
"I think the club has established itself as a really good Premier League club, with great management and great ownership. " says Ertl. "I'm really happy to see the progress over the years that has been achieved." 
The players knew what that moment in time meant to the club, says Derry. 
"Everybody looking back on 2010 probably, collectively understands that it was the rebirth of this football club." 
It's a play we all hope we'll never see again, but one we'll tell everyone about for the rest of our lives. 

Latest issue of FYP Fanzine available to buy vs Arsenal and online

Written by FYP Fanzine

The season is nearly over which means it's time for another issue of your favourite Palace fanzine; Five Year Plan.

The latest edition, number 52 by the way, is out this Sunday as Palace take on Manchester City at Selhurst Park and considers the question on the lips of many supporters:

  • How well have we done with the squad at our disposal?
  • There’s analysis of the recent derby from both a Palace & Brighton perspective
  • A detailed account from a member of the ‘E400’ of the club’s handling of the Block E situation
  • An in-depth interview with Academy Director, Gary Issott
  • Plus Alan Smith looks back at his time in charge of the Youth system at Palace.
  • Plus loads more.

All this & much more for just £2!

Sellers will be at Arsenal on Sunday but if you can't make it you can by a downloadable PDF copy for just one pound.

Download an E-FYP copy here.