On Saturday evening after Palace’s defeat at the hands of Southampton at Selhurst Park, John Salako took to Twitter to give his view of where the club has gone wrong in the last couple of seasons. In doing so he confirmed some things a few of us have been saying for a while.
During his time at the club as manager, I was critical of Alan Pardew and Steve Parish for employing too many ‘old boys’. I thought it was a foolish practice to employ some former players who played for Palace in, what I would call, our golden era under Steve Coppell.
In a few instances the former players employed had no coaching badges and seemed to only get jobs because they were legends and friends with Pardew and/or Parish.
While I could not and would not try to diminish the standing these former players have at the club they were not covering themselves with glory by jumping on the gravy train and accepting a job they seemed not be capable of doing.
One such player was John Salako who was named as first team coach not long after Pardew joined Palace from Newcastle United. This confused a majority of fans while the rest, the head nodders who agree to anything the chairman does and think that any connection with our golden era will automatically rub off on the hear and now.
In fact, it was probably the fact that we had Pardew, Salako, Richard Shaw (youth team manager), Mark Bright (compiles reports on loanees) and a few others at the club that it gave credence to the much-spouted view by Parish that we were in the most successful period in the clubs history.
Add to this the long list of former players who liked to rock up on Sky and BT Sport to talk us up or enjoyed being seen around Selhurst Park and it would be easy to be swept along with the euphoria of being in the Premier League with our heroes from our youth gracing us with their presence once again.
Until Saturday evening I didn’t follow John Salako on Twitter. It wasn’t anything personal, I don’t follow any former players on Twitter. I never wanted to be in the situation where I read something I objected to and resorted to arguing with them.
In fact, to be completely open and transparent, I follow Steve Parish and Mark Bright. Brighty I’ve followed since 2009 when he was a sports correspondent on BBC London and Parish because he is the chairman (Mao) of the club.
So, it was late afternoon here in Sweden when I began to read some people writing about salad and after a while, I put 2+2 together and realised they were talking about Salako.
Back in his playing days, John Salako got the nickname Salad for reasons which escape me but it at least in part because it was a play on his name.
People were joking that Salako was off his head because he was saying some ‘off the script’ things. We all know that former employees of football clubs usually tow the line and it seemed that Salako, for whatever reason, had gone rogue!
So, off I headed to Salako’s account and discovered some very interesting comments which, as he was in the circus at the time it began going off the rails, are probably the closest to the truth we are going to get.
I was going to cut out each tweet and explain context to his answers were but I think they are all pretty self-explanatory. If you are unsure of anything, leave a comment in the section below and I’ll expand.
Unfortunately, I am a little limited for time this evening. Here are the tweets.