Steve Parish

On Wednesday afternoon Steve Parish spoke to a US radio station that focuses on football and broadcasts on satellite radio. He gave some insight into recent goings on and thoughts for the future at the Palace.

Before I go any further I would like to thank Nairb75 on Holesdale.net for writing a summary of what Steve Parish spoke about during the interview.

Comments made by Parish are in bold and my thoughts follow in plain text.

On Sam Allardyce: he reached his goals and made a personal decision. Very professional, I appreciate the job he did and wish him well in the future.

It’s seems fair enough on the face of it. Didn’t indicate that he tried to convince Sam to stay or that he was mortified by the decision.

On a new Manager: Parish stressed several times that it’s important to find someone who fits the club’s style and personnel already at the club. Those are the most important things and also he wants someone who wants to build the club and not view it as a stepping stone. He cited Coppell as a model.

I have the view that there are basically two types of manager out there. The kind who can come in and manage the group of players we have currently and a manager who will need to bring in better players before he can bring some level of success.

We don’t necessarily have the most talented group of players. They are a group who can be better than the sum of their parts and need to be coached accordingly.

For example, Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce did a good job at extracting the best they could out of our players and it could be argued that they over achieved, certainly up to and including  December 2015.

A manager like Mancini will need better players to achieve success and might not be able to drag the best out of players like Joel Ward or James McArthur.

Maybe we need a blend of the two?

Someone mentioned Claudio Ranieri to me as someone who can coach a group of players like ours and be able to bring in better players. However it seems he might not have been as responsible for Leicester’s success as we’ve been led to believe seeing how Craig Shakespeare has done.

On managerial candidates: there is a long list. Parish was asked Dyche but he wouldn’t comment on any specific candidates but the way he answered indicated that Dyche is definitely in the mix.

At the time of writing it seems like out managerial jigsaw is playing out without us actively being part of the game. Managers are being given jobs or strongly linked with other jobs and it may come down to us not having much of a choice to make.

The word is that Gary Monk is on his way to Middlesborough with Karanka going to Leeds. Tuchel seems to be on his way to Borussia Mönchengladbach.

On new players: Parish said that if Sam had stayed, it may have only been 1-2 players that would have been signed. As we are getting a new manager he’ll probably sign more.

For me, this was the most disturbing comment of the interview! Is Parish serious that Sam would only have wanted to sign 1-2 players? With our squad?

Look at it this way, as soon as the final whistle blew at Old Trafford we lost 3 players in Remy, Sakho and Flamini. Two loan contracts and a one year deal expired instantly.

Apparently Joe Ledley’s contract has expired so that makes 4 players from the 25 man squad.

And we would only have signed 1-2 players?

Okay, we’re getting Souare and Wickham back but even so does anyone believe Sam would think we have a good enough squad to only need 1-2 players?

All the time we have Mutch, Campbell, Lee, Sako, Williams, Fryers and Kelly we need better players.

I simply do not believe Sam agreed to only sign 1-2 players and that seems to support my opinion that Sam chose to ‘retire’ rather than fight next season with our squad and 1-2 new players.

Even if Sakho was one of the 2 players we’d be struggling next season and he probably thought it wasn’t worth the stress. I firmly believe if Sam was told he had £80m to spend and he could bring in 6-8 players then he’d be our manager today.

On what positions to recruit: Parish said he’ll look at all positions but specific positions will come down to what the new manager will prioritise.

Let’s say we appoint a new manager next week. He won’t see the players train until the end of June at the earliest and he can’t assess the squad during that period so either the new manager will be flying blind or he won’t be making the decisions.

On Sakho: Parish stressed that it will be very tough. He said it 3 times and it may depend on the new manager. He was asked what he’d do if the new manager says on day 1 to make it happen and he started babbling about overall budget, etc. while saying over and over that “it will be tough to get that done.” All in all it didn’t sound optimistic.

I just get more and more deflated each time Parish talks about anything to do with transfers. It seems Sakho isn’t going to happen and my hopes that we had £50m to spend in the summer seems to be whittled down to less than £30m.

Where is the money going?

He was asked if player recruitment on hold until new manager is signed: No, not really. Maybe in some cases he’d wait but they have targets and are making progress.

So, is it 1-2 players or not? Does the new manager have the decision to make or not?

It just looks like a big pile of b/s to me! If we sign players now maybe the new manager won’t want them. Maybe he’ll want to spend out limited finances elsewhere.

Parish contradicts himself which some people think is him being a clever poker player and the rest of us think he doesn’t know quite what he is doing.

The majority of Palace fans blame Pardew for the transfers last summer but Parish had a big hand in it too.

Ian Holloway made it quite clear it was Steve Parish who was behind the flurry of signings after we got promoted. Holloway said “My chairman was a like a kid in a sweet shop” yet it seems it is Holloway who has been the butt of the jokes regarding that situation.

I’m just not sure what to believe with Parish any more. Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy and think he is a good chairman but he is tights as a duck’s arse when it comes to transfers and he only sanctioned the spending he did in January because we were in shit street and he had pressure from the Americans.

Kind of a dumb question but i’ll include it (not my words) on the difference between continental vs British managers: Parish said that everyone is different. Every person is different. He hasn’t hired anyone from the continent so he can’t really say but he finds everyone is an individual and different.

Not so much a dumb question but a moronic answer. Who not state the bleeding obvious! He could have answered about what is his opinion about continental managers or their style of play verses a British manager but…

On the summer schedule, Asia and Schalke: Parish mentioned history of Chinese players, connection with Virgin extending flights to China while a sponsor.

In the quiet words of the Virgin Mary, come again?

What does our “history” of Chinese players (aka two players who were at the club 20 years ago) have to do with the summer schedule? And what does Virgin have to do with the price of eggs?

Let me state here that I’d happily take Virgin as a sponsor over a betting company even if it means we receive £5m less in revenue because I think betting companies shouldn’t be allowed to advertise in the way they do.

On how hard it was to resign Wilfred Zaha: we made a strong commitment to him and showed our ambition. Wilf is a special player who sees the club’s potential. He genuinely loves the club and fans and wants to take the team higher.

Sure, not a problem there except he wanted to leave last summer. We’ll put that down to Pardew, shall we?

That being said, Wilf signing a new deal won’t stop him leaving next summer, it will just generate a bigger fee and what player in his right mind would turn down a new contract trebling his wage and getting new clauses inserted into the contract.

Mark my words, if we perform for the next two seasons as we have the last two seasons Wilf will not be a Palace player! And to be honest I wouldn’t want him to be, I want him to go out and win things!

Don’t get me wrong, I wish we could keep out good players but I am genuinely pleased for players like Nathaniel Clyne and Victor Moses (why dive you silly sausage!) who have gone and achieved good things elsewhere.

I fear that Wilf will have to do the same thing. If he can turn his back on England, which was the correct decision, he can turn his back on Palace!

But I don’t begrudge Zaha his improved contract. Not one bit! If you asked me to name one player who we should keep at all costs it would be Zaha because he is, at the time of writing, out best player!

On last season in which he hoped for finish of 10th, is that the goal again: yes, he wants to push for a top 10 finish and that should be realistic.

Indeed it should. We should have been 10th in our cup final season and again in the season just gone.

In the cup final season we were never a top 5 team but we should have got 10th or 9th.

This season just gone, had we got 2 more wins we would have been 10th. It was a very congested division from 8th down to 17th so aspirations of a 10th place finish isn’t madness.

No, the madness part comes from thinking we have a squad who can pull off a 10th place finish. We have a starting 11 who are good enough but beyond that…

On if we have any rising stars: (Parish was on his phone and kind of hard to hear) he said Kaikai made the squad, mentioned Flanagan and couldn’t hear the last one.

I’ll be frank, none of our academy players are fit for first team football next season!

The closest we have to a player able to break through is Boateng and Kaikai but the fact they did not feature for us when available speaks volumes.

Why didn’t Sam give Kaikai a start at Manchester United as the game was a ‘dead rubber’? Why not give him a whole half?

The days of academy players breaking in to the first team are a long way off, our academy is mainly hype!

Name our last two players to break through. Zaha and Williams in 2010! That is seven years ago.

Williams was a first team player when we got promoted and look at what has happened to him even after a good Euro 2016 last summer.

Zaha is very much the exception and he is a unique talent as Moses, Watson and Clyne were before him.

Conclusion

The interview doesn’t instil me with confidence that we will get a decent manager in the summer or that we are on the ball regarding signing new players.

We are going to be playing a game of ‘catch up’ when we eventually get a manager and it will be a case of ‘who is left’ rather than ‘who do we want’ and I thin the 2017/18 season is going to be another one to test my nerves.

After our defeat I had so much hope and positive thoughts and it seems to be ebbing away with each week that passes.

Check out my YouTube Channel for a video I made about this or my Soundcloud channel for the podcast version, which can also be found on the right.