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  #941  
Old 08-03-2021, 06:26 AM
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On 9 March 1991 we returned to winning ways in the league with a much needed 2-1 victory at home to Southampton. Geoff Thomas popped up with both of the goals.

Recollections of this one are a little hazy and I don't remember anything about the goals. However my sense is that it was a good high energy performance, perhaps buoyed by that decent result in the first leg of the ZDS semi-final which put Wembley back within sight again, coupled with the proverbial rocket up the arse from Coppell after our league form had tailed off.

Southampton were under-performing this season. Certainly their attacking options of Rod Wallace, Le Tissier and a young Alan Shearer would have been a match for anyone, and they were backed up by a highly experienced squad featuring the likes of Francis Benali, Jimmy Case, Glenn Cockerill (who scored their consolation in this game) and Barry Horne. This result meant we had done the double over them and more importantly consolidated our third place in the table, prospects of UEFA Cup qualification next season now coming firmly into view.
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Old 08-03-2021, 08:06 AM
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Back to winning ways in the league. With a buzz around the prospects of Wembley again. By now felt comfortable that we would finish in our highest position ever. That we had in the first team enough to really progress. These were really great days.
Another opposition where I had a connection to one of the players. One of the guys I worked with grew up with one of the Southampton players and knew him through him.
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Old 08-03-2021, 08:28 AM
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One of the goals was a very nicely taken Free Kick.
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Old 09-03-2021, 01:28 PM
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New entries into the top ten, week ending 9 March 1991:

Because I Love You (The Postman Song) by Stevie B - bizarre one hit wonder, an overly soppy ballad which inexplicably because a massive hit over in the USA. I note from his Wikipedia entry that Stevie was arrested in 2011 due to owing $420k in child support, so presumably the love of his life expressed in this terrible song went sour in the end.

The Stonk by Hale and Pace and the Stonkers - Comic Relief tie-in which got to number 1, not much more to be said. Hale and Pace were incredibly popular in the late 80s with a more 'edgy' late night ITV show featuring the likes of the 'nightclub bouncers' "Don't cackle, I don't like cackling" "Yeah, I don't like any sort of pork" etc etc, you had to be there. Wonder what they are doing now - well I don't but you know what I mean.

All in all a pretty dismal week, I have tried to make the most of slim pickings with my analysis above.
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Old 09-03-2021, 03:10 PM
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Wasn't it around this time that both Sir Steve & Uncle Ron came out in the press and had a moan about the attendances not increasing despite the lofty league position ?
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Old 09-03-2021, 05:05 PM
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PALACE 2. Thomas 2
SOUTHAMPTON 1. Cockerill

Att: 14,439

Palace: Martyn. Humphrey. Shaw. Gray. Thompson. Thorn. Salako. Thomas. Bright. Wright. Pardew. Subs: Barber (for Thompson). Southgate (unused)

Soton: Flowers. Cherednik. Bengali. Osman. Ruddock. Case. Cotterill. Horne. McLoughlin. Shearer. Wallace Subs: Banger (for Case)

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  #947  
Old 09-03-2021, 05:22 PM
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Trying to work out how we would have lined up for this one.

4-3-3 I assume...Thomas at the back alongside Thorn...Gray doing the donkey work in the middle with Salako and Pardew flanking him, with a three-pronged attack.

Or maybe Salako slotted in at left back and Thomas stayed in the middle of the park with Gray, Shaw at centre half?

That front three looks good on paper but would have been an awkward fit,.particularly Thompson and Bright who were pretty similar.
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Old 09-03-2021, 06:31 PM
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Trying to work out how we would have lined up for this one.

4-3-3 I assume...Thomas at the back alongside Thorn...Gray doing the donkey work in the middle with Salako and Pardew flanking him, with a three-pronged attack.

Or maybe Salako slotted in at left back and Thomas stayed in the middle of the park with Gray, Shaw at centre half?

That front three looks good on paper but would have been an awkward fit,.particularly Thompson and Bright who were pretty similar.
Definitely three up front; of sorts. It was a bit of a strange time, despite what was a successful season, we weren’t killing games off and some fans had been calling for Coppell to play Bright/Wright/Thompson up front together, especially after some disappointing games after Christmas. I guess it was worth a try.

It wasn’t a great success.
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  #949  
Old 09-03-2021, 07:10 PM
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I would have to check out our season review video to be sure, but I’m pretty certain Thomas didn’t play at centre back in this game and was in his normal midfield position. Also sure like others have said that Thompson played in a three up top with Bright and Wright. What I think happened is Salako played at left back in Shaw’s position and it was Shaw that played at centre back.

The Ian Wright documentary that was released at the end of this season called ‘Do the Wright Thing’ actually intercuts his life story with black and white footage of that Southampton game. The camera obviously focuses totally on Wrighty so you can’t see formations and positions; but you do see Thomas and Wright taking the kick off at the start of the game, which would suggest that Thomas was not centre back. There’s also other clips of a Palace attack with Thomas and Thompson further forward. You also see Shaw in a more central role at the back on Thorn’s right side from the kick off.

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  #950  
Old 09-03-2021, 10:07 PM
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What I think happened is Salako played at left back in Shaw’s position and it was Shaw that played at centre back.
This is borne out by the Advertiser match report " ..to their credit Humphrey and Salako attempted frequent bursts from deep positions. Salako in fact covered ground in all areas.."
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  #951  
Old 10-03-2021, 05:10 AM
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This is borne out by the Advertiser match report " ..to their credit Humphrey and Salako attempted frequent bursts from deep positions. Salako in fact covered ground in all areas.."


I think if Salako was playing today he would make a top class modern day full back.
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  #952  
Old 14-03-2021, 08:37 AM
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16 March 1991 saw us at home to rock bottom Derby County.

We saw them off 2-1 with goals from Gray and Wright. However my recollection is that it was a closer game than we would have wanted it to be, although generally on top we huffed and puffed a bit and struggled to close the game out. Gray's goal was a penalty, converted in typical 'blast it down the middle as hard as you can' fashion. Shilton in the Derby goal was, as we knew by this time having watched the World Cup, pretty hapless at penalties and my recollection is that he effectively dived out of the way of it!. Second goal I think was another typical artefact of the time, Wright finishing off a Bright knockdown. Can't remember the Derby goal other than that it was quite a good finish. I think we went 2-0 up before they grabbed one late on.

So two 2-1 wins on the bounce. As far as the league table was concerned, by this stage Man Utd had started fading badly in fifth and so it looked like only Leeds could realistically catch us. And depending on other results on the day we could have gone within 2 points of the leaders with this win, looking at Bubbs league table from last time out!
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  #953  
Old 14-03-2021, 08:53 AM
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Pointless stat this, but until the very last game of the season, against the very nice Moan Utd, all the wins at home at Home, were by a single goal margin (admittedly not all 1-0 like under Roy, now). Nothing whatsoever to complain about, in what was this wonderful season, but just strange, considering what a powerful team, we had become ?
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  #954  
Old 14-03-2021, 09:10 AM
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16 March 1991 saw us at home to rock bottom Derby County.

We saw them off 2-1 with goals from Gray and Wright. However my recollection is that it was a closer game than we would have wanted it to be, although generally on top we huffed and puffed a bit and struggled to close the game out. Gray's goal was a penalty, converted in typical 'blast it down the middle as hard as you can' fashion. Shilton in the Derby goal was, as we knew by this time having watched the World Cup, pretty hapless at penalties and my recollection is that he effectively dived out of the way of it!. Second goal I think was another typical artefact of the time, Wright finishing off a Bright knockdown. Can't remember the Derby goal other than that it was quite a good finish. I think we went 2-0 up before they grabbed one late on.

So two 2-1 wins on the bounce. As far as the league table was concerned, by this stage Man Utd had started fading badly in fifth and so it looked like only Leeds could realistically catch us. And depending on other results on the day we could have gone within 2 points of the leaders with this win, looking at Bubbs league table from last time out!
By now the realisation that we were going to finish in an unbelievable till then position had taken hold. The team was on its day capable of so much strong through its spine with flair on the wings. One or two weak spots regarding strength in depth. Its also notable how few times the team we all think of from this season played as a unit.
The real joy of the season is yet to come but already it was about what we could achieve with one or two additions. Little thought about going backwards.
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  #955  
Old 14-03-2021, 10:14 AM
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Being two goals clear and conceding a late goal was a bit of a habit at home that season. (Edit - I see Maiden Eagle has made a related point above)
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Old 14-03-2021, 01:17 PM
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PALACE 2. Gray. Wright
DERBY 1 Micklewhite

Att: 14,752

Palace: Martyn. Humphrey. Shaw. Gray. Young. Thorn. Salako. Thomas. Bright. Wright. McGoldrick. Sub: Pardew (for McGoldrick). Thompson (unused)

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In the match day programme, a revelation about a soon to be World Heavyweight Champion. Although I think he was one of those that ‘supported’ half a dozen clubs.

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The first rumblings that we were going to be cheated out of a European spot. Clearly Noades request to the FA was to fall on deaf ears as the England’s governing body decided to persue the best interests of one club while totally neglecting another. Take a posthumous bow Bert Millichip.

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Old 14-03-2021, 01:38 PM
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The Stonk by Hale and Pace and the Stonkers - Comic Relief tie-in which got to number 1, not much more to be said. .
Successful night at Cinatra's in 1999 - back to the flat in Selhurst Road with a young lady.

I pressed play on the tape deck to play the stuff I'd recorded off the radio back in the day for some background music and after a few minutes this came on. Mood well and truly ruined.

Hated Hale & Pace ever since. Also, what the frig was I thinking in 1991 recording this off the Top 40 in the first place???
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Old 14-03-2021, 01:40 PM
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On 9 March 1991 we returned to winning ways in the league with a much needed 2-1 victory at home to Southampton. Geoff Thomas popped up with both of the goals.
Proper captain's knock that day Header + a fantastic rocket free kick in the space of a couple of minutes midway through the 2nd half.

Title bid had gone by this stage but great to see the lads were still going to go all out and finish the season as high as they could.
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Old 14-03-2021, 01:44 PM
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Wasn't it around this time that both Sir Steve & Uncle Ron came out in the press and had a moan about the attendances not increasing despite the lofty league position ?
Possibly although the one that really sticks in my head was 15000 in the QF of the League Cup the following season. That's when Ron really did moan.

Looking at our attendances in the Coppell-Wright-Bright years and comparing to much lesser years i.e. most of the 21st century, I have to agree with Ron in retrospect. That said we'd gone from 10000 in 1989 to 17000 in 1990 (biggest jumo in the league) and then onto 19000 in 1991. It was still a big jump in a short period of time.

Then again 30000 had come for the Blackburn game in 1989 - why weren't we getting bigger crowds for winning First Division football?
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Old 14-03-2021, 01:49 PM
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In the match day programme, a revelation about a soon to be World Heavyweight Champion. Although I think he was one of those that ‘supported’ half a dozen clubs.
Another one of the half time guest efforts that generated next to no reaction from the crowd.

As a Medway boy I was pro-Gary Mason (Gillingham) at the time but Lennox kicked his arse when they met. Both players came on for half time guest slots but, in a move that would get repeated for Bentt v Hide in 1994, no one really cared.

I always understood Lennox was a West Ham fan given where he was born. Probably had friends at various clubs and likewise the players would have friends in other sports as well. I know Wright was friends with Nigel Benn for instance.
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