Tuesday, April 09, 2013
The 2012/13 football season is reaching its climax and now it’s time for Crystal Palace Football Club to pull one final rabbit out of the hat!
Crystal Palace’s recent form has dipped with 'The Eagles' taking just 2 points from their last five Championship fixtures, conceding 10 goals and scoring just twice in the process. Palace and hitman Glenn Murray have not scored since our 2-2 draw with Leeds at Selhurst Park back on the 9th March.
A month on and this poor run of form threatens to destabilise Palace’s promotion push. It looks very much like Palace will have to settle for a play-off place at best, but I think the Club still need another seven points from their remaining five games to be sure.
So what can the boys from London SE25 do to make sure that this nine month long season ends with a bang and at least the opportunity to compete for a place in the financial promise land that is the Premier League!
A new TV deal coming into play next season will see the bottom placed top flight side still receive around £60million in TV cash.
Enter Mr Aruna Dindane.......!
Dindane is an experienced 32 year-old Ivory Coast international, who plyed his trade with RSC Anderlecht in the Belgium league between 2000 and 2005, helping the club win two league titles and winning the Belgium League Player of the Year award in 2003. He then joined French Ligue 1 club RC Lens in 2005, where he spent five years which also included a loan spell with then Premier League outfit Portsmouth during the 2009/10 season, where he scored 10 goals in 24 Premier League appearances and helped the Fratton Park club to the 2010 FA Cup Final. He left Pompey at the end of the 2010 season and spent two-and-a-half years in the Middle East, before being released by Qatari side Al-Sailiya Sport Club in December 2012.
Dindane has represented his country at the 2006 African Cup of Nations held in Egypt. He was also selected for the Ivorian squad for the 2008 African Cup of Nations hosted by Ghana.
He currently has 67 international caps to his name and has scored 11 goals for his country, where he often partners Didier Drogba (right) in attack.
He also participated in the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups, in Germany and South Africa respectively.
On 23rd March 2013, Dindane signed for Crystal Palace until the end of this season, after eventually receiving international clearance from the Middle East. On joining he clearly lacked match fitness and only made his first outing in a Palace shirt as an over-age player in the Under-21 development match versus Stoke City at Tooting and Mitcham's Imperial Fields last night, but he did play 70 minutes and more importantly got on the score sheet!
Ipswich Town at Portman Road is our next league game on Tuesday 16th April, so the Ivorian has another 10 days to improve on his fitness. The Crystal Palace gaffer Ian Holloway is a student of the game and a deep thinker, and although I do not claim for one moment to be his eyes or ears I expect Dindane to play a part in this crucial fixture. I think Holloway sees something in Dindane that is lacking in the side at the moment. Dindane boasts a wealth of experience but that is not an area where I feel the squad is lacking with the likes of Phillips, Murray, Ramage, Delaney, Jedinak, Wilbraham, Dobbie and Speroni on the books!
It may be just as a goal threat, but equally ‘Ollie’ may feel Dindane can provide us with some 'fresh guile' or possibly something different tactically.
Dindane was training with Palace before he was officially signed. Holloway has been trying hard to get his fitness levels up. He may have featured against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on Easter Monday if it had not been for an issue with red tape. There are only five league games to go and I cannot see why the gaffer would exert the amount of time and energy into Dindane, if he did not have a game plan that involved the Ivorian striker!
Whether he starts in place of Glenn Murray who is struggling with a hip injury as I speak, plays him alongside Murray in a 4-4-2 formation or behind Murray in a 4-4-1-1 formation that we have used frequently and fruitfully this season remains to be seen. He may alternatively be used as an impact substitute, particularly if we need a goal with the clock ticking down.
So what can the Palace fans truly expect from Aruna Dindane?
Well realistically and honestly, absolutely nothing! He has only played 14 competitive games since January 2012, and none since December 2012, that was before last night.
However now and then when you least expect it you can be holding the key to the ignition! Palace need a spark from somewhere right now, and in Dindane perhaps this skillfull, powerful and experienced striker can be dusted off and a like sparkling gem and be subsequently restored to its former glory.
Dindane (right) has nothing to lose and everything to gain! At present he only has a two-month contract. Could he inject that flash of brilliance, a magical on-field moment or two that could ignite the tail end of what has so far been a wonderful season for a Club, that were one of the favourites for relegation at the start of the season.
If Dindane can prove himself and help guide the Londoner’s to the Premier League I am pretty sure he could secure himself a lucrative deal with Palace next season, and perhaps become a fans’ favourite.
'Roy of the Rovers' material it may sound, but that’s what football dreams are all about..........so let’s just wait and see!
As Oscar Hammerstein once famously said: “If you don't have a dream, how are you going to make a dream come true?”