NEW SIGNING – Steve Mandanda

Crystal Palace have completed the signing of French goalkeeper Steve Mandanda from Marseille.

He joins the club on a three year contract for an undisclosed fee.

Mandanda is currently on international duty for France at the European Championships with compatriot and now club teammate Yohan Cabaye.

The thirty-one year old stopper was a fan favourite at the Stade Velodrome and captained the club from the South of France. He began his career in the youth team at Le Harve before making his professional debut in 2005. After making almost seventy appearances for the French club he joined Marseille in 2007, initially on loan before signing permanently in 2008. He went on to make over 350 appearances for the club.

Born in DR Congo, he opted to play for France at Under 21 level before making his full international debut in 2008. To date he has twenty-two caps and has earned to nickname ‘Frenchie’ for his decision to play for France rather than his country of birth. He has been named Ligue 1 goalkeeper of the year on four occasions.

Welcome to the club Steve!

 

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Euro 2016 stadium quiz: name the venue from the aerial view?

Guess the stadium from the birds-eye view of these Euro 2016 grounds …

Which stadium is this?

Stade de France (Paris)

Stade Bollaert-Delelis (Lens)

Stade de Nice

Stade Vélodrome (Marseille)

Which stadium is this?

Stade Pierre Mauroy (Lille)

Stade de Lyon

Stade de Toulouse

Parc des Princes (Paris)

Which stadium is this?

Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux

Stade Pierre Mauroy (Lille)

Stade de Toulouse

Stade de Nice

Which stadium is this?

Stade Vélodrome (Marseille)

Stade Geoffrey Guichard (Saint Etienne)

Stade de France

Parc de Princes (Paris)

Which stadium is this?

Parc des Princes

Stade de Nice

Stade Pierre Mauroy (Lille)

Stade Geoffrey Guichard (Saint Etienne)

Which stadium is this?

Stade de Nice

Stade Pierre Mauroy (Lille)

Stade Geoffroy Guichard (Saint Etienne)

Stade Bollaert-Delelis (Lens)

Which stadium is this?

Stade de France

Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux

Parc des Princes (Paris)

Stade de Nice

Which stadium is this?

Stade de Toulouse

Stade Geoffroy Guichard (Saint Etienne)

Stade Pierre Mauroy (Lille)

Stade Bollaert-Delelis (Lens)

Which stadium is this?

Stade de Lyon

Stade Geoffroy Guichard (Saint Etienne)

Stade de Toulouse

Stade Bollaert-Delelis (Lens)

Which stadium is this?

Stade Geoffroy Guichard (Saint Etienne)

Stade de France

Parc des Princes (Paris)

Stade de Nice

Continue reading…

By: Sports News - The Guardian (Guest post)

Mixed Emotions For Euro Eagles And Other News

Our weekly look at news involving the club or players from the past seven days without the need to include any silly transfer rumours.


Eagles At The Euros

The Palace representatives experienced mixed emotions in the opening games at the European Championships in France. Yohan Cabaye did not feature for host country France in their late win against Romania while Wayne Hennessey suffered a back spasm and could not play for Wales against Slovakia but both Jonny Williams and Joe Ledley featured in the terrific 2-1 win.

Cabaye will be hoping to feature in the second game from France which is against Albania on Wednesday while Wales face England on Thursday. It remains to be seen is Hennessey will recover from the back problem. Our Joniesta shone in the win over Slovakia and is expected to start while Ledley will likely look to play some part in the game from the bench.

Another Friendly Lined Up

The club have announced a pre-season friendly against League Two side Colchester United at the Weston Homes Community Stadium which will kick off at 7pm on Monday 25th July. The game immediately follows the three game tour of North America where Palace face Philadelphia Union, Cincinnati Ohio and Vancouver Whitecaps.

Big Names Released

Fifteen professionals were released this week including Adrian Mariappa, Brede Hangeland, Paddy McCarthy, Emmanuel Adebayor and Marouane Chamakh. They have joined a number of young players such as David Gregory, Chris Kettings, Reise Allassani, Connor Dymond and Andreas Breiymar exiting the club.

New Deal For Coker

Eighteen year old winger Andre Coker is set to sign a new two year deal at the club. The pacy attacking player is well thought of by academy staff and has been training with the first team since he signed his first professional deal last season.

Sweden Home For Cadogan

Former Eagles winger Kieron Cadogan looks to have found a home from home in the most unlikeliest of places. The twenty-five year old now earns his trade with GAIS in the Superettan League. Find out more in an interesting interview with Will Unwin at ITV Sport.

International Eagles

Elsewhere around the world, Yannick Bolasie scored for DR Congo in a 6-1 demolition of Madagascar in an African Cup Of Nations qualifier. Pape Souare appeared for Senegal as they confirmed their qualification for the African Cup Of Nations while Mile Jedinak featured in the win for Australia against Greece.

 

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Payet ‘fourth best in Europe?’

payet27

Payet has been ranked fourth best player in Europe in 2016 by UEFA ‘barometer’, a player rankings tool.

BBC Sport posted the rankings, which have Cristiano Ronaldo topping the list, followed by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antoine Griezmann. Payet follows in fourth, in a list that is based on both club and country form since January 1st 2016.

“The barometer runs official player statistics through a specially designed algorithm to create rankings based on player performances,” according to UEFA.

Uefa added: “The data considered for each player is specific to the position type.

“For example, tackles and interceptions are considered to be key statistics for defensive midfielders, while successful dribbles and crosses are core stats for wingers.”

Payet and James Milner are the only Premier League based players in the top 10, whilst there is a surprise inclusion for Robbie Brady at number 53.

Payet has had an outstanding 2016 for both West Ham and France and is well in contention to start for France this summer. According to the London Evening Standard, Didier Deschamps said yesterday, “Everytime Payet touches the ball something happens”, which is a complete turnaround after the France manager was considering dropping Payet altogether before his outstanding form in recent months.

The full rankings are available here.

Should We Support Wales Or France This Summer?

It is perhaps difficult to start looking further afield when our Premier League safety has yet to be mathematically secured, plus the wonderful occasion of another day out at Wembley for the FA Cup Final against Manchester United.

However, the upcoming European Championships in France has all the ingredients of being a fantastic tournament, with some of the best players in world football and an increase in the number of participating teams likely to produce some enthralling matches that will keep everyone on the edge of their seats.

There is a good chance that up to four of Alan Pardew’s squad will represent the club at Euro 2016, and while I would argue that Scott Dann and Damien Delaney should be playing for England and Ireland respectively, it appears that Eagles fans have a choice between backing Wales or France to succeed.

You could, of course, remain patriotic and get behind England, who Betway rate amongst the darkhorses to win Euro 2016, but those who like to keep track of the progress of their favourite Palace players can either turn into Welsh or French fans this summer.

Qualifying for their first ever European Championship is a considerable achievement for Wales, with former Eagles favourite Chris Coleman, who spent four years at Selhurst Park under Steve Coppell during the early nineties, leading them to Euro 2016. He built on the foundations left by the late Gary Speed to guide Wales through a tricky qualifying group which contained Belgium and Bosnia to participate at a major international tournament for the first time since 1958.

Coleman will certainly relish the ‘Battle of Britain’ clash against England, while he may also fancy his team’s chances against other Group B opponents Russia and Slovakia. Fans can keep track of their progress and back them to succeed with Betway, and although they are considered rank outsiders to pull off a feat as big as Leicester City in the Premier League this season, you can only hope that they do themselves proud.

Reaching the knock-out stages would represent success for Wales, and while Gareth Bale is undoubtedly the star of the show who holds the key to how well they do this summer, three Palace stars are also likely to play their part.

Wayne Hennessey has established himself as number one for club and country this season, with the twenty-nine year old overcoming some difficult times between the posts this season. He will have to stand up tall this summer if Wales are to progress from the group stage, but Hennessey has proven that he is capable of pulling off some excellent saves when it really matters.

The goalkeeper is likely to be joined in the Wales squad by Joe Ledley and Johny Williams, with the former earning cult status due to his considerable beard that appears to have set a trend at Selhurst Park. Williams, who has spent the season out on loan at Championship clubs Nottingham Forest and MK Dons, is likely to be used as an impact sub, but Ledley is a key member of Coleman’s midfield as the person to break down attacks and distribute the ball forward. His ability to strike a cracking shot with his left peg could also come in handy if Wales are searching for goals, but it may not matter if Bale hit tops gear and proves why he is the most expensive player in world football.

It appears more surprising as every impressive performance passes by that Delaney has been shunned by Martin O’Neill for the Ireland squad, with the 34-year-old announcing his retirement from international football counting him out of representing his country at Euro 2016 at a time when he is in good form in the Premier League. His omission leaves Palace fans with two options if we choose not to watch Hennessey, Ledley and Joniesta represent Wales. We can either remain loyal to England amid the inevitable feeling of disappointment and anguish that usually greets our support, or back Yohan Cabaye to shine for the hosts.

Signing the former Newcastle midfielder has proved to be a masterstroke from Pardew, with Cabaye becoming an instant fan favourite as an all round player who has all the qualities you want from someone in his position. He has added an extra dimension to Palace’s play this season, with his qualities on the ball likely to be used by Didier Deschamps who has been a long term admirer of what Cabaye brings to the table.

France are considered favourites to repeat the feat of eighteen years ago and win another tournament on home soil, and while the likes of Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann will receive all the attention, Cabaye could be just as crucial by sitting in front of the back four and dictating play.

The ‘Claude Makelele’ role may suit him, and if the home nation handle the pressure and expectation on their shoulders, then Cabaye could well return to Selhurst Park with a Euro 2016 winners medal around his neck.

 

 

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