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  #1  
Old 19-08-2021, 03:50 PM
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1991/92 season - game by game

I know the plan was to start this thread on August 24th in line with when the 91-92 season started but I see the 90-91 thread has already started with the pre-season chatter from summer 91.

As it is the season had started for everyone else bar ourselves and Leeds. Our game was rescheduled for October 1st as Palace's introduction of executive boxes at the Whitehorse Lane end overran and weren't complete in time for the opening day on August 17th.

Our second fixture scheduled for midweek (Spurs away?) was also then postponed meaning that by the time Palace would actually kick a ball, they'd already be two games behind the rest of the league.

This will go down in history as Palace's biggest missed opportunity. The 1990-91 season saw our team peak but given two more of the team would go on to become full England internationals in 1991-92, in addition to Wright, Salako and Thomas, all of whom had done well on the England summer tour of Australasia, there was no real reason why the great run had to halt in May 1991.

Three top flight professionals were linked with Palace in summer 1991 - Gary Charles (Forest and England) Rod Wallace (who made the move from Southampton to Leeds for £1.6M) and Mark Wallace (who left Rangers for Liverpool for £1.25M)

Signing Charles + one other would have been a great summer. As it is we did things on the cheap signing Chris Coleman (£275,000) from Swansea who was unproven but would go onto become a very good signing all be it not straight away and journeyman Lee Sinnott who was never up to the required standard.
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Old 19-08-2021, 04:57 PM
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Tulip replacing Fly Virgin felt like a bad omen straight of the bat!
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Old 19-08-2021, 04:57 PM
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We were linked heavily with Mark Walters this summer, could've made a big difference to the outcome of this season. As you say a massive opportunity missed. Definitely a sliding doors moment. I rember listening on BBC World service to the Man City game in a bar in ibiza. Feeling really disappointed we'd lost. As a youngster I just expected us to beat most teams at that time. After this season my expectations somewhat changed...
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Old 19-08-2021, 04:59 PM
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I was young then, but I don't remember us being linked to those players - I loved Rod Wallace!

It has been years since I have even thought of Lee Sinnott (from Bradford, right?), but just seem to remember him having a really oddly shaped head, like a cereal box.
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Old 19-08-2021, 05:07 PM
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Well the Leeds game on October 1 was massive. I’ll never forget it. I had forgotten, however, that it was rescheduled. How different things might have been if it had gone ahead as originally planned
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Old 19-08-2021, 05:24 PM
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I will refrain from talking about the first game itself until we have Bubbs' official scrapbook entries to declare the runners and riders.

As for the build up to it...I was frustrated by the postponements as it never feels good to be having to win your games to catch up with those who have already played. That said, I went into the season with a sense that the exploits of the previous year could not realistically be repeated, I didn't share Grim's optimism that an opportunity to progress was there. During the second half of 1990/91 our form had faltered a little and the goals had started to dry up, we were playing more like a mid-table team at times and that's really how I viewed our prospects for the new season. It turned out like that in the end, although not in the way you might expect with another storming start, a nightmare middle phase to the season and then a good recovery in the final couple of months. We were an excellent team, a shit team and a decent team across three phases of the season rather than your typically 'consistently inconsistent' mid table outfit.

I was probably more interested in seeing how far our star players could progress as individuals (while still playing for Palace of course). England had gone on a low key tour of the Antipodes over summer 1991, in which our boys had made a good showing. In particular John Salako had emerged from the games with credit in the bank having put in some good performances on the wing. Graham Taylor was certainly keen on picking players from all and sundry clubs, so I was hoping for him to push more firmly into the England first team reckoning in the year ahead.
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Old 19-08-2021, 08:16 PM
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I think I was quite naively confident about the coming season. My reasoning was that every season Coppell had managed us - 6 by that stage - we had gone a notch up the ladder. There was never a backward step or even consolidation. I think in my head, I thought we’d eventually win the league, I really did. I know it sounds crazy now, but I believed in the manager that much. At that stage he’d performed miracles and taken a side destined for the drop to the third tier, to the third best team in the land. There seemed to be no glitch in his methods. But as the great man said himself, we didn’t realise it at the time - we thought we’d just go again, when in actual fact we’d hit the glass ceiling already.

I remember Howard Wilkinson interviewed on Football Focus on the first day of the league season, complaining about our game having to be postponed. The interviewer said something like, ‘Do you think Palace should be punished?’ and Wilkinson spat out, ‘Well something needs to be done!’ Always remembered that as was watching with friends and we found his annoyance OTT and amusing, and that phrase then became part of our repertoire of impressions we’d throw out on a night out.


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Old 19-08-2021, 08:42 PM
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I remember going into the season full of optimism, but cursing the fact we had not signed Rod Wallace. I really did think at the time that if we had of done, we could have kicked on and challenged for the title with the momentum we had behind us the previous 3 seasons.

I must admit I had totally forgotten about our first 2 games being rearranged, but I do remember Mr Potato head Wilkinson mentioning we should have been punished now that Bubbs has mentioned it.
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Old 19-08-2021, 09:18 PM
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Genuine question, where did fans realistically expect us to finish that season (We kicked off with basically the same squad) I distinctly remember Greavsie saying we were one of the "dark horses" for the title in Match magazine.

Coleman, Sinnott were the only notable additions.

Barber, Garry Thompson & Tony Witter were the main departures.
Will try and get involved in this thread a little more in the conning months, now my house renovations have eased.

I'm sure people will make comparisons with the additions Leeds made that summer (they finished 4th in 1990/1991) which propelled them into the new campaign - Dorigo, Rod Wallace & Hodge for a combined fee of about 3.7m.

As mentioned on the other thread, we kicked off the season a week later than everyone else due to improvements and the new boxes arrived in the WH lane end.

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Old 19-08-2021, 09:20 PM
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Squad photo

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Old 19-08-2021, 09:22 PM
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and another



I purchased about 100+ official press photos at an auction many years ago from that season, will dig them out.
Also have various recordings of JP & co from Capital Gold Sport which I need to dust down.
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Old 19-08-2021, 09:31 PM
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Sir Steve



Bodin 24.8.91


"Victor"



Leeds at home October 91'

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Old 19-08-2021, 10:03 PM
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Season ticket booklet



Season ticket prices (taken from the Wimbledon home game)

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Old 20-08-2021, 12:12 AM
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I think I was quite naively confident about the coming season. My reasoning was that every season Coppell had managed us - 6 by that stage - we had gone a notch up the ladder. There was never a backward step or even consolidation. I think in my head, I thought we’d eventually win the league, I really did. I know it sounds crazy now, but I believed in the manager that much. At that stage he’d performed miracles and taken a side destined for the drop to the third tier, to the third best team in the land. There seemed to be no glitch in his methods. But as the great man said himself, we didn’t realise it at the time - we thought we’d just go again, when in actual fact we’d hit the glass ceiling already.

I remember Howard Wilkinson interviewed on Football Focus on the first day of the league season, complaining about our game having to be postponed. The interviewer said something like, ‘Do you think Palace should be punished?’ and Wilkinson spat out, ‘Well something needs to be done!’ Always remembered that as was watching with friends and we found his annoyance OTT and amusing, and that phrase then became part of our repertoire of impressions we’d throw out on a night out.

]
Did Wilkinson think they had a chance of winning the league that season? I wonder what odds they were? Not much smaller than ours I wouldn’t have thought.
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Old 20-08-2021, 12:53 AM
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The problem was we had a first eleven that picked itself. The weakest link was Shaw at the time and the replacement by Bodin had failed. Where could we improve when you look at the team it on its day could hold itself against any team in the land. It was still developing as well. Like most fans I was looking forward to the season and everything looked set for another great experience.
We had issues though the strength in depth was not there. In those days this was not an issue long term injuries or loss of form were addressed by a raid into the transfer market. The Coleman signing was a bit like Collymore potential more than a starting place. I might need correcting but one issue was the reserves were not playing the best league. So achieving a run of form to push for a first team place was hard. Though rumours of David Whyte were he was excellent there was not much else. Lee Sinnott was cover for Eric who was still carrying the affects of the Keown tackle if iI recall correctly. A little like Gary Thompson he was not going to replace the two regulars. Could challenge Shaw maybe and so useful to have. It was a sensible but unspectacular addition.
All said and done did we need any was the side really going to be strengthened significantly unless at a great cost.
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Old 20-08-2021, 03:17 AM
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I remember the first two months of the season having a real siege mentality. It felt the football world and luck were trying to cut us down, yet we were fighting through the storm and still hanging on in there. Then Wright’s sudden departure and Salako’s injury happened within days of each other and bang…we just imploded. It felt like little old Palace had trod on far too many big toes, were trying to reach above their station and needed teaching a lesson by the big club fawning media - it really felt like that as the scandals and accusations came thick and fast until they got their way and we were done.

jaspercpfc, you asked where the fans genuinely felt we’d finish that season; well I clearly recall coming home from the Villa away game victorious - 3 wins from 4 - listening to Geoff Thomas being interviewed on 5Live. That was just four games in, and the interviewer basically talking about us winning the league and Geoff saying they believed it was on. It didn’t feel bizarre to me or any of my mates in the car listening on.
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Old 20-08-2021, 08:52 AM
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jaspercpfc, you asked where the fans genuinely felt we’d finish that season; well I clearly recall coming home from the Villa away game victorious - 3 wins from 4 - listening to Geoff Thomas being interviewed on 5Live. That was just four games in, and the interviewer basically talking about us winning the league and Geoff saying they believed it was on. It didn’t feel bizarre to me or any of my mates in the car listening on.
I don't ever remember thinking we had a serious chance of actually winning it. I didn't even think that the year before when we were much closer, even though we were pretty much clear in 3rd for quite a while. That said, nor did I think there was any danger of being involved in a relegation scrap, not with the players we had. Even when Ian Wright left - gutted as I was about that - I wasn't worried about the wrong end of the table.
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Old 20-08-2021, 01:38 PM
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I think I was quite naively confident about the coming season. My reasoning was that every season Coppell had managed us - 6 by that stage - we had gone a notch up the ladder. There was never a backward step or even consolidation. I think in my head, I thought we’d eventually win the league, I really did. I know it sounds crazy now, but I believed in the manager that much. At that stage he’d performed miracles and taken a side destined for the drop to the third tier, to the third best team in the land. There seemed to be no glitch in his methods. But as the great man said himself, we didn’t realise it at the time - we thought we’d just go again, when in actual fact we’d hit the glass ceiling already.
I felt exactly the same. What makes it all the more frustrating looking back is that 1991-92 was probably the best chance for a 'smaller' club to win the league. Leeds weren't that good - and weren't that much better than they had been the season before when they finished fourth one place behind us. Neither Liverpool nor Arsenal matched their form of recent seasons, and Manchester Utd hadn't yet hit the heights they would under Fergie - and Blackburn weren't yet the force they were briefly to become.
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Old 20-08-2021, 04:07 PM
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Leeds were pretty relentless to be fair. They only lost 4 games out of 42 all season and in fact their loss to us in October was their only league defeat before 8 February - 1 defeat in 27 games.
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Old 20-08-2021, 04:21 PM
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Leeds were pretty relentless to be fair. They only lost 4 games out of 42 all season and in fact their loss to us in October was their only league defeat before 8 February - 1 defeat in 27 games.
Weren't we the only team to pick up 4 points of them that campaign?
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