Selhurst Soapbox: Delaney is the right man, in the right place, at the right time

09:34 30 November 2012

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace's Damien Delaney. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

“Sometimes, there’s a man,” says the Cowboy at the start of Coen Brothers cult classic movie The Big Lebowski. “He’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there.” For Damien Delaney that time is now and the place is Crystal Palace.

About our Blogger

Name: Simon Campbell

Twitter handle: @Si_Campbell_

Regular attendee/Viewer from abroad

Favourite player: Current, Wilf Zaha

Most memorable game: Crystal Palace 5 Brighton 0

Predicted finish: 8th

Whether it is the playing staff or system at a new club, the location, or something in a player’s social life - sometimes things just click. The stars align in just such a way that a player suddenly produces the best form of his career. So it is for Delaney now. And Palace are reaping the benefits.

Delaney had long been on the radar of various Palace managers before he joined earlier this season. Peter Taylor had chased him a few years back but it was Dougie Freedman that eventually brought him to the club. His move from Ipswich was initially only until January though.

"Sometimes things just click. The stars align in just such a way that a player suddenly produces the best form of his career. So it is for Delaney now."

Simon Campbell on Crystal Palace defender Damian Delaney

It was on good authority that Delaney would then head west to join the Major League Soccer gold rush in America. It is to Palace’s credit that he has forsaken this dream and instead hitched his wagon to Ian Hollloway’s promotion chase.

The news that he has signed a contract until 2014 shows his faith and commitment to the cause. If he can reach the Premier League with Palace it will be the highlight of a career that has seen him capped five times by Ireland but remained something of an unfulfilled talent.

This season he has brought a muscular authority to the Palace defence. He is a calming influence - the other members of the back four look relaxed and confident beside him. Peter Ramage is almost unrecognizable now and plays like a proper centre half - perhaps Delaney’s greatest achievement.

So well do the duo complement each other that their partnership bears favorable comparison with any of the recent pairings at the heart of the Palace defence. Not since Chris Coleman and Richard Shaw have a duo looked so assured playing together.

Delaney and Ramage are certainly helped by defending in a team that is playing well despite losing their unbeaten run to Leeds last weekend. The Eagles also have Mile Jedinak and Kagisho Dikgacoi, the Championship’s best central midfield pairing, protecting them.

But as it stands it is difficult to see a way into the team for club captain Paddy McCarthy and Danny Gabbidon, the player with the most Premier League experience in the current squad, when they return to fitness.

It is a position that few will have envisaged at the start of the season but suddenly a Palace team without Delaney and Ramage at its heart doesn’t bare thinking about. They fit right in there.

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crystal Palace news

Waztford's Nathan Ake and Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha in action (Paul Harding/PA Wire)

Emmanuel Adebayor’s first goal for Crystal Palace was not enough as Alan Pardew’s Eagles extended their winless run in the Premier League to 10 games with a 2-1 defeat to Watford.

Arsene Wenger  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

A whole host of English clubs were present at Benfica v Porto on Friday night.

Crystal Palace's Emmanuel Adebayor in action (Paul Hardin/PA Wire)

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew believes that Emmanuel Adebayor’s first goal in a Palace shirt is important for the club going forward after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Watford.

Chelsea's new signing Alexandre Pato signs for Chelsea at the Cobham Training Ground (Credit: Darren Walsh)

The weekend is here and we have compiled the main headlines from around the web this Saturday morning.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (John Walton/PA Wire)

The Premier League is back this weekend and it looks to be one of the most exciting few days of the season.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Read more
Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport