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

Nigel Pearson, manager of Leicester City  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Nigel Pearson insisted it is an “insult” to suggest he would pick a weakened team to face Chelsea as Leicester battle the drop.

Pedro of FC Barcelona (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

The outcome at the top and bottom of the Premier League are slowly being sorted and next season is already on the mind of many top flight sides. So transfer business will be key and here is our handy round-up featuring the London clubs as well as Barcelona, Southampton, Aston Villa and more.

Yannick Bolasie of Crystal Palace (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Tottenham have reportedly entered the race to sign Crystal Palace’s Yannick Bolasie at the end of the season.

Manager Alan Pardew of Crystal Palace  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has called for Premier League timekeeping to be taken out of referees’ hands after his side lost 2-0 to Hull on Saturday.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Two phones. Same phone case. Genius.

To celebrate the launch of the first luxury dual phone case, PearPeel, we are giving away two of the black leather Rocha cases, perfect for holding two iPhone 6 handsets.

Read more

Crystal Palace Transfer

07:14
Pedro of FC Barcelona (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

The outcome at the top and bottom of the Premier League are slowly being sorted and next season is already on the mind of many top flight sides. So transfer business will be key and here is our handy round-up featuring the London clubs as well as Barcelona, Southampton, Aston Villa and more.

Read more
Jack Wilshere
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Nabil Fekir of France  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

With the season nearing its end, plenty of clubs are already searching for their summer signings. Here is our handy round-up of the best transfer stories from around the web featuring the London sides.

Read more
Alan Pardew