OUR columnist ROBERT SUTHERLAND is disappointed by Glenn Murray's exit from Selhurst Park, but says the club were right to let a Palace legend go elsewhere to seek first team football...
I'M a bit of a child when it comes to Crystal Palace matters. I can't imagine great players leaving. I have to be prepared for the possibility, or I turn into a disappointed wreck, inconsolable at the thought that someone who did so much for our club could just up and leave.
And so, with the transfer window gradually nearing it's closing and the possibility of Glenn Murray's departure looming, that sickly feeling in my stomach became apparent. How? Why? What made him want to leave?
Murray made the most telling contribution throughout our promotion season. Suffering the cruellest of injuries in the play-off semi-final with Brighton, his chances of taking the Premier League by storm were hindered - Palace had to find alternative options and Murray's stock gradually began to drop. Not with Palace fans, I hasten to add, but with managers.
While to us supporters the warmth of sentimentality rules over cold, hard necessity, managers and players don't have that luxury. They have to make decisions which not only put the club first, but put their futures on the line.
The former Brighton man is a class act. A highly effective striker who has climbed through the divisions, his prowess in front of goal can't be questioned. But his inclusion in this Palace team would have required significant changes to the side - tactical adjustments which would have changed the balance of the line-up.
He could have played the Chamakh role, but that's not his game - he's an out-and-out forward, a player who wants to get on the end of crosses and put the ball in the net, not a deep lying attacker willing to link play up - and at the age of 31, he needs to be playing.
Palace couldn't offer him a starting place. A combination of bad luck and timeliness saw to that. But there's no doubt he'll be a success at Reading. There's no question that we'll always hold him in the highest of regards. His goals shaped our promotion season and we will always be grateful. Always.