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The Crystal Gaze: What has changed at Crystal Palace

Dougie Freedman, Crystal Palace manager Dougie Freedman, Crystal Palace manager

By Rosie Blackwell-Sutton, London24’s Crystal Palace blogger
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
12:12 PM

An Eagles fan’s view of how the south Londoners have improved under Dougie Freedman this season

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About our blogger

Name:Rosie Blackwell-Sutton

Twitter handle: @rmmbs

Season ticket holder

Favourite player: Jonny Williams

Most memorable game: Crystal Palace 5-0 Brighton

Predicted finish: 11th

It’s been a while since the sun has shined so brightly on Selhurst Park. Having endured the reigns of George Burley and Peter Taylor, Dougie Freedman has once again become our saviour.

After a summer that saw fan-favourites Darren Ambrose and Sean Scannell leave SE25, many thought we were doomed. Keyboard warriors were calling for Dougie’s head before a ball had been kicked, and according to them, we were destined for another relegation battle.

However, October is now well underway, we’re on a seven game unbeaten run and almost everybody has forgotten about that 4-1 defeat away at Preston (sorry for bringing it up).

So, what exactly has changed in South London?

"Just how good can Zaha be? Time will tell, but there’s already suggestions that he’ll outdo both Moses; a Nigerian international playing for the European champions and Scott Sinclair who made a dream move to the Premier League Champions, Manchester City, over the summer"

Rosie Blackwell-Sutton

Firstly; The New KG. Kagisho Dikagcoi looked far from the finished article last season; many called him overweight and thought he should be shipped off in the summer. However, a slimmed down KG, inspired since playing versus Brazil, has seen him become one of our key players this season; scoring goals, stopping opposition and dictating the midfield alongside the ever-steady Mile Jedinak. Add to that the talent of Andre Mortiz, Jonathan Williams and Owen Garvan and our midfield is looking almost unbeatable.

Secondly; Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie. Finally we have returned to the glory days of have two extremely exiting wingers. Like Victor Moses and Scott Sinclair or Julian Grey and Wayne Routledge before them; the Eagles are truly at their best when two skilful players are running at retreating Championship fullbacks.

Just how good can Zaha be? Time will tell, but there’s already suggestions that he’ll outdo both Moses; a Nigerian international playing for the European champions and Scott Sinclair who made a dream move to the Premier League Champions, Manchester City, over the summer.

Bolasie is receiving less praise than the highly-rated Zaha, however he’s quietly shining and proving a handful for the defences we’ve faced; he’s not shy from a shot on goal either and once he’s found the back of the net, I fancy him to get seven or eight goals this season.

Thirdly; our defence. Yes, we’ve been letting teams score by slipping over or missing headers, but we’ve also looked solid. Damien Delaney and Darcy Blake have found a team and fans that appreciate them and are flourishing in the centre of our back four. Moxey and Parr are vying for that left-back spot, and I’m sure that Joel Ward will make that right-back position his own soon enough. If we can cut out silly mistakes, we won’t have to be comeback kings all season.

Add together all three of these ingredients and you’ve got one hell of a team. Dougie and the players have certainly silenced those internet trolls who would’ve happily seen him sacked, and instead got them singing his name from the stands.

All together now, “Dougie Freedman’s Red and Blue Army…!”

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