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Crystal Palace must learn QPR lessons and swerve Odemwingie

| 22.07.2013

Crystal Palace need only look to QPR’s season in hell last term for reason not to sign want-away West Bromwich Albion striker Peter Odemwingie.

Now 32 years old, the Uzbekistan-born Nigerian hitman spent the second half of last season in the Hawthorns naughty corner, after resorting to all manner of public and private subterfuge in order to push through a January move to – you guessed it – Queens Park Rangers.

Signing post-30 senior pros with questionable motivations had already served to create a perfect storm of apathy at Loftus Road by that stage, thanks to a pre-season trolley dash that scooped the likes of Jose Bosingwa, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Bobby Zamora.

Palace arrive in the Premier League in dire need of striking reinforcements thanks to 30-goal top-scorer Glenn Murray’s injury in the 2012/13 play-off final, with only Aaron Wilbraham – whose career best spell was 50 goals in 178 games for MK Dons – in reserve.

Wilbraham’s profligacy in front of goal in the play-off final ought to have convinced Eagles’ string-puller Ian Holloway that bringing in a finisher was of the utmost importance and he’s already paid through the nose for Peterborough youngster Dwight Gayle.

The need for top-flight experience within the Selhurst Park strikers’ union remains, but whilst the Eagles have little Premier League pedigree within their ranks they do – as with most promoted sides– have a strong team spirit forged through the collective experience of the successes that got them to the promised land.

At QPR bringing in last-big-contract journeymen for whom the move was a step down had a negative effect on the squad as a collective and it showed that acquiring players of Odemwingie’s experience – who will likely command higher wages than many of the most long-serving Palace stalwarts – must be done with the utmost caution and concern for team morale.

Palace were relegated after one season in each of their last two top flight stays and they are currently the 8/15 favourites for Premier League relegation in 2013/14.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Thomas Reynolds