Another season in the top flight begins and it looks like all is going swimmingly at Selhurst Park. Some fine close season signings and a true international star have made their way to SE25 and we are in the process of tying the likes of Yannick Bolasie down to new contracts. A win in the League Champions' back yard has given us a start that nobody dared dream of before the season started, with nine points out of a possible twelve. We're on the way to establishing ourselves as a mid table Premier League club, aren't we?
Don't be so f***ing stupid.
We've been here before, remember? More than once. Back in 1979 we sat proudly at the top of the top flight with a squad made up mainly of home grown players that was inappropriately dubbed the "team of the 80s". Though I was little more than a babe in arms back then, I know exactly how that ended. Within the space of 12 months we went from being spoken of as future title challengers to being rooted to the bottom of the table, unable to buy a win. Relegation followed along with a fire sale that saw some of the finest young players in the country replaced by a group of lower division cloggers and disinterested journeymen looking for one final pay day. Then the club seemingly lost half of its ground and nearly all of its money and we struggled to tread water for the best part of a decade.
And ten years later we went one better. Promotion to the top flight, followed by our first ever FA Cup final, a minor trophy and finishing as the third best team in the country. This was swiftly followed by us losing our best players, replacing them with inferior specimens, losing our highly rated manager and relegation. OK, we went back up as Champions immediately but this time we barely strenghtened at all and fell straight back down to the second tier as quickly as we'd been promoted.
Still, we remained optimistic. Even a narrow defeat in the play off final failed to extinguish our optimism and we managed to overcome that hurdle the following season and a new era at Palace was annouced. A new owner, with an bottomless pit of money, waiting to take us on to the next level. Hell, we even managed to secure the signature of one of the finest players of his generation, a true world star who seemed to fit right in with the ethos of the club. Unfortunately that the bottomless pit of money we were promised actually turned out to be a small hole in the ground filled with IOUs and final demands.
But, we even survived that. Yet another new owner comes in and starts splashing the cash around and eventually we reach the promised land again, though this time a poor manager and poor signings sealed our fate and it was only a few years before we were penniless again.
I hear fans saying that this time it's different. That this time, because we have financially astute owners, there's no chance of us being relegated ever again. We will go from strength to strength. Yohan Cabaye is the yardstick of the type of signing we will make in the future. I say to those fans, enjoy the hell out of this season. Because it won't last, it never does.
See you in the Championship in 2017.