With just 5 games of the season remaining what are the chances that Julian Speroni or Steve Mandanda to play for Crystal Palace again?
Even if Crystal Palace pick up 3 points against Tottenham on Wednesday evening it would leave us 11 points above the drop zone with 12 still left to play for. So, the earliest we can mathematically wrap up survival is at home to Burnley on Saturday if results go our way.
This has left me wondering, what will happen with the other two senior goalkeepers?
This might sound a little harsh but I don’t really care if Steve Mandanda plays for Crystal Palace again this season if he is as intent on going back to Marseilles in the summer as reports have suggested. The noises from Mandanda have been sounding ever since he injured his knee at the end of last year with him visiting his old club and publicly saying on a France chat show that he would like to return to his old club or transfer to a “big” Premier League club.
I know a goalkeeper’s performance is greatly reflected by the defenders in front of him but Mandanda didn’t cover himself in glory whenever he appeared for the Palace.
Sure, he made some great saves but he also was at fault for some goals which had Wayne Hennessey or Alex McCarthy made them last season, they’d have been lynched!
So that leaves club legend, Julian Speroni. Having broken the club record for appearances by a goalkeeper earlier in the season, Speroni hasn’t featured since and with his contract about to expire in the summer it begs the question, will we ever see him in a Palace shirt again?
If Speroni gets an extension it will be certain that he will be, at best the 2nd choice goalkeeper next season, maybe probably 3rd choice or even player/coach?
So is Big Sam a sentimental manager? If we have safety secured before the last home game of the season against Hull, could you see Speroni starting?
Nothing lasts forever and I think it is highly unlikely that Speroni would be played in cup games next season as I expect us to sign a young goalkeeper (Pickford anyone?) who will need some games to develop so why invest game time in a goalkeeper at the wrong end of his career?
I think we should accept that we may never see Speroni in a Palace shirt again unless it is just to warm the bench.
Given the record of the two goalkeepers I would choose Speroni to have a game over Mandanda but either way I think we’ve seen the last of both of them.
After all, Speroni’s last game shouldn’t be as firing practise at Old Trafford, should it?