COLUMNIST Alex White doesn't understand why Crystal Palace are signing more strikers - and thinks Dwight Gayle is on the cusp of some England recognition...
IN THE words of one of our former managers Ian Holloway "If I could bottle confidence and sell it I would be a millionaire."
Well, Alan Pardew is certainly earning his money. Having taken on a side that's confidence was ripped apart by former manager Neil Warnock, in just four games Super Al has managed to help the players re-find their hunger, confidence and self-belief.
Credit, of course, has to go to Keith Millen for steadying the ship but nobody expected Pardew to have won four out of four. Although we shouldn't get carried away just yet, the boost that Pards has given the squad has put us in a really strong position and platform to build on.
The Pardew reign has seen our strikers grow in confidence and we have yielded 12 goals in four games, with 10 from our strikers. For me that is evidence we don't need more strikers, we need to get more out of what we have got. A returning Glenn Murray, Chamakh back to full fitness, Dwight Gayle nominated for Player of The Month, the experienced goal scorer Campbell and the addition of Sanogo is plenty strong enough.
We have certainly seen more of Dwight Gayle and his performances must have him on the verge of the England squad. From his first ever game for Palace it was evident that Dwight is a natural goalscorer.
Former managers have struggled to fit Gayle in their system but now it looks like he will be suited perfectly in the Pardew set-up. I can understand why Dwight didn't fit in the Pulis mold; at the time we were a side that focused on keeping a clean sheet, structure and tactical discipline and we had to play so deep we needed a centre forward like Cameron Jerome or Maourane Chamakh to hold the ball up and wait for the cavalry to arrive. Dwight just naturally isn't a target man and looks to play on the shoulder rather than hold the ball and slow the game down.
I know some people thought I was unfairly harsh towards Neil Warnock during his time at Palace in my columns but I think his comments last week summed up my view on his management ability. Talking to TalkSPORT, Warnock spoke of how he feels Pardew is lucky that Jedinak and Bolasie are gone, as it has forced him to play Gayle. He said how he thought Dwight is the best finisher at the club but he couldn't fit him in the line up. Well that pretty much sums up why Neil is out of a job if you ask me! Yet again another excuse.
Like all Palace fans, I am much more comfortable under the Pardew regime and am excited to go and watch Palace rather than worried about the outcome.