Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Friday November 2 2012
Prior to tomorrow's clash with Crystal Palace I managed to catch a word with writer and keen Eagles fan James Daly who writes the fanzine 'Five Year Plan' to answer us a few questions on all things Palace and Rovers.
So sit back, relax and enjoy the humour.
So Palace seem to have come out of the blocks very well, which has surprised a few. As a Palace fan - are you surprised?
Well we have and we haven't. The first four games of the season were dire, and included a 4-1 defeat at Preston in the League Cup, the same competition we reached the semi-final of last season and knocked Manchester United out of at Old Trafford. So, yeah, not great.
Ironically there were calls for Freedman's head after three league defeats from three which also followed a rubbish four months at the end of last season.
But something changed at the end of August. We signed four players on deadline day and the whole mood around the place lifted. We beat previously unbeaten in 19-games Sheffield Wednesday at Selhurst and haven't looked back.
So to answer the question; yes I am a bit surprised but then with Palace nothing really comes as a surprise anymore.
What's been the key to this early surge up the League Table?
Two things: the wonderful team spirit, togetherness and passion spreading throughout the squad…and Wilf Zaha.
We have a real depth to the team and quality on the bench, plus the belief has just been injected from nowhere. Now players like Kagisho Dikgacoi, who last season were awful, are now like new players.
We were all in it together, which has made Freedman's decision to quit even harder to take, but we wont dwell on that.
Zaha, of course, has been immense. Best player I've seen at Palace. Probably. Maybe.
Who have been the Eagles' best players so far this term?
Zaha. Just unbelievable ability on the ball, which he's added strength, workrate and finishing to this season to almost become the complete player at just 19. He has terrorised established defenders (see his mugging of Paul Konchesky at Leicester last week) and it's a real joy to watch.
Shame we won't get to see it for much longer.
Elsewhere, Damien Delaney has been a revelation at centre-back, Mile Jedinak continues to dominate the centre of midfield and Glenn Murray is finally getting goals up front.
Over the season as a whole, what are your expectations?
A top half finish would definitely be seen as progress, a top 10 place would be lovely and play-offs would just be the icing on the cake.
What have you made of the situation at Rovers?
Not dissimilar to Palace when we had Simon Jordan as chairman bullish owners, high turnover of players and managers and confused fans.
I feel for Rovers fans, and any club where there doesn't seem to be a strong link between the owners and fans. We are lucky at Palace to have four local lads running the club who create open dialogue with us supporters constantly and seem to care as much as we do.
I've always had a soft spot for Rovers since Matt Jansen (my favourite ever Palace player without a doubt) left in 1999 so I hope things get better at Ewood Park.
Make a team of Rovers/Palace players, using a maximum of 7 from one side.
Orr Delaney Dann Parr
Zaha Murphy Jedinak Pedersen
Finally can we grab a prediction?
Lots of goals for potentially two new managers to witness; I'm going for Palace 2 Rovers 2.
Thanks to James for taking the time to talk to us, you can pick up a copy of his fanzine at the game tomorrow.
Date:Friday November 2 2012
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