Need to know: Crystal Palace
Five things to know about Crystal Palace going into the 2013-14 Premier League season:
The arrival of Jose Campana will excite fans of Crystal Palace. Manager Ian Holloway has used the signing of the Spain under-20 midfielder, who made 20 appearances for Sevilla before signing for Palace, as a signal that he wants to integrate the passing style associated with Spanish football into his team. Midfielder Stephen Dobie joined from Brighton and winger Jerome Thomas signed on a free transfer following the expiry of his contract with West Bromwich Albion.
THE RISE OF DWIGHT GAYLE
Palace's biggest signing of the summer has been Dwight Gayle from third-tier Peterborough for a reported fee of 6 million pounds ($9.5 million) as Holloway looks to boost his attack in hopes of leading promoted Palace to league safety. Gayle was playing semi-professional football until 2012, when he signed for fourth-tier club Dagenham. A loan to Peterborough, where he scored 13 goals in 29 games, sparked interest from Palace, who signed him up in July - taking him from semi-pro to Premier League footballer in a little over a year.
KEVIN PHILLIPS, 40 AND STILL PLAYING
Striker Kevin Phillips remains part of Holloway's squad going into the Premier League campaign and will provide an interesting option for Palace to bring on from the bench if they need of a goal. The 40-year-old Phillips won't be able to play 90 minutes week in, week out but his predatory goal-scoring instinct is undiminished by time. He scored seven goals in 16 games for Palace last season, including the penalty that secured promotion in the playoff final.
NO WILFRIED ZAHA
The biggest loss Palace will face this season is that of Wilfried Zaha, now a Manchester United player. The pacy winger, who was arguably the best player for Palace last season, was signed in January by United but loaned back to Palace for the remainder of the season while they chased promotion. Now Zaha, a product of a thriving youth academy at Palace, will be playing to beat his old team when the two sides face each other at Old Trafford on Sept. 14.
THE CRAZINESS OF IAN HOLLOWAY
Manager Holloway is renowned in English football for his eccentricity. He is lively on the touchline, shouting instructions to his team, and gives entertaining answers to media questions before and after matches. Holloway has managed once in the Premier League before, with Blackpool, but was unable to save them from relegation. He will want to make sure that things go better with Palace.