OUR Crystal Palace columnist ALEX WHITE thinks the international break came at a good time for the Eagles, but he continues to be angered by the absence of certain names from the England squad...
I THINK the international break will be a blessing in disguise for Neil Warnock and the squad. The players that haven't travelled to join their national teams got a chance to work with Neil for an extra week and start to make the transition into his beliefs.
From what I've heard from inside the camp, the squad have had a great week and are really enjoying the new regime already which will certainly make us Palace folk sleep easier at night. The break has allowed the likes of Zaha and Johnson re-integrate into the squad and get used to their new/old surroundings. Granted players like Doyle and McArthur haven't had time to train with the club but still got game time under their name and will be fit and raring to go come the weekend.
The break also allowed time for Scott Dann to regain full fitness and Chamkah to begin his return from injury. Fortunately Captain Fantastic Mile Jedinak led the Soceroos in London vs South Africa, so we have an advantage of limited travelling. It will also allow the club to focus on clearing the ranks a little with players such as Garvan, Kebe and Ramage expected to depart on loan.
The squad selection of our very own national team backed up my previous articles calling for the likes of Joel Ward, Jason Puncheon and Scott Dann deserving a call up for their country. There is very little point me ranting about it again because the selection ignorance and arrogance won't change in this country and that's why we are decades behind the best national team.
An example is that Callum Chambers gets picked for England, nothing against Chambers – I like him but he has played 24 professional games and gets a call up. If he was still playing at Southampton there is no chance he would have been put in that squad. This is one of many examples of big club favouritism.
It seems strange to be calling the next match a must win but a result against relegation rivals Burnley would certainly be a signal of intent. With the transfer window over and a vastly improved squad, I think we have every reason to be positive.
I also think the return of Warnock, Johnson and Zaha to Selhurst will certainly help lift the place, not that it takes much to lift the loudest fans in the league!