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May 17 2021 1.04pm

Another step downwards

March 21 2016

As usual, Wilf receives a harsh tackle from Leicester's Kante in the 0-1 defeat at Selhurst.

As usual, Wilf receives a harsh tackle from Leicester's Kante in the 0-1 defeat at Selhurst.

Jamesey joined a surprisingly buoyant throng for the home fixture against Leicester City. But another defeat was the outcome.

Let's go all literary and kick off with a famous saying, "Hope springs eternal in the human breast" (Alexander Pope).

Hmm...that may well be so, and hope of a home win at Selhurst Park is becoming a forlorn emotion.

This writer pleads the age card when it comes to vociferous football supporting. I no longer have the energy or desire to do it myself but welcome those who do and who have made Selhurst Park a media byword for loud and passionate displays.

But claims that it makes much of a difference to the team's performance - often cited by managers, owners and players - have always left me sceptical.

The fact that Crystal Palace have lost 10 out of 16 home matches this season, more than any other Stacksomoulah club, rather makes my point.

Anyhow, getting back to matters in hand, we took our seats for the game against Leicester City (March 19) wondering what sort of an afternoon we would behold.

We all knew that the Foxes were, almost unbelievably runaway league leaders and could well do the impossible and wrest the title away from the usual suspects. We hope they do but not win against us, please.

At least we would have a good excuse for the customary defeat.

It didn't look too bad to begin with but Ranieri's lads looked speedy and dangerous and the Eagles survived a couple of narrow squeaks.

WILFRIED ZAHA and Yannick Bolasie, bless them, provided their usual excellent work on the wings but the bloke who is supposed to be banging 'em in, Emmanuel Adebayor, looked totally ineffectual.

Even worse on the rare occasions he got anywhere near the ball he succeeded on giving it away.

It must be said that the big feller was an expensive gamble that hasn't paid off at all, as was widely predicted.

Two of my Tottenham acquaintances laughed in disbelief when I told them we had taken him aboard. It looks like they had the first and the last laugh there.

The deadlock was broken in the 34th minute when Riyad Mahrez banged in a cross and scored the match-winning goal.

To be fair, what looked like a simple move that bamboozled a weak defence was actually a far more skilful and clever effort when seen later on MOTD.

We were reminded of what a Palace goal scorer looks like when Andy Johnson was strongly applauded on the touchline before kick-off. Even now, he would probably have made a better job of it than Adebayor who, mercifully, was removed at half-time.

His replacement Bakary Sako looked far more lively, as did the rest of the team in the second period. But first-rate crosses to nobody are a strange tactic.

Similarly nervous defensive hoofs straight to the big Leicester defenders are also a strange tactic.

The nearest the Eagles came to making it an unlikely draw was when Damien Delaney hit the bar in the dying minutes.

And so we shuffled off out of the stadium with a taste of which we are now accustomed - the bitter taste of home defeat.

As always in these situations, strugglers who we we once loftily regarded as relegation fodder are gaining ground.

Norwich and Swansea notched three points each and Sunderland and Newcastle have drawn.

So that is good news for CPFC although this season I never thought I would be in the degrading position of checking other results to see if we have sunk even lower towards the trapdoor.

Well, we are 16th in the Splurgeodosh League and are now in a relegation situation. Even Alan Pardew has finally admitted it, although it has been self-evident for some weeks now to everyone else.

Our FA Cup run will be of little consolation to the board of CPFC2010 if we go down and miss out on all that lovely lolly next season.

Nevertheless I am looking forward to my second trip to Wembley in three years, for the semi against the Hornets and like all of us would relish a first-ever FA Cup final victory.

But if anyone happens to be in my company during the coming weeks, don't mention the word "Wigan".

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