Scoring Goals for Palace
Glenn Murray has completed a £5m move to newly promoted AFC Bournemouth. The Palace number 17 looked to have revitalised his career when returning from a loan spell at Reading last season when he scored several key goals and helped move Pardew’s men away from the relegation zone, and ultimately, up to a tenth place finish. However, £5m was the right price for the man that turns 32 on September 25th.
This is not a place where I will debate whether or not £5m is enough or whether or not this is the right time for him to go. This is a place where I am going to talk about the Glenn Murray that I will remember.
It has become abundantly clear in the last few years that Dougie Freedman has an eye for a player. Yannick Bolasie, Joel Ward, Mile Jedinak and so on have proved this by excelling in the Premier League. Murray was another player that Freedman picked up, on a free transfer and from our fiercest rivals, Brighton.
During his first season, 2011/12, at Palace he was not the prolific striker that he would become the following season, however, it did not take long for him to write himself into Crystal Palace folklore and forever endear himself to the Palace faithful.
Tuesday 27th September 2011. Crystal Palace head to the Amex stadium for the first time to face Brighton and nobody gives us a chance after three losses on the bounce. Brighton take a first half lead which they hold until the 79th minute. Wilfried Zaha equalises, Darren Ambrose pokes home a second and in the 91st minute Glenn Murray picks the ball up on the edge of the area. He beautifully brings down a Darren Ambrose pass, shifts the ball out of his feet and slams the ball into the bottom corner and condemns his former club to their first loss in the league at their new stadium. FFS Murray is born.
That was Murray’s second goal for Palace and he would score a total of seven goals that season, including, on a personal note, a brilliant goal in a 1-0 win at the City Ground on my Dad’s 50th birthday. Despite not blowing us away with his goalscoring prowess in his first season, he already had two very significant Palace goals in my household - and all this goes without even mentioning a winner at Old Trafford in a League Cup Quarter Final!
It is obvious now that this was a season of adjustment for Glenn. It was his first year playing at Championship level and he learned his lessons fast. It took him less than a minute to score in his first league game of the 2012/13 season and he would end that game with both goals in a 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday. From there he did not look back.
Thirty-one goals in all competitions, including 9 braces and 2 hat-tricks, was a completely unexpected haul when considering his goal return from the previous season. His goals were the key to promotion and, by extension, the reason that the Club is in the position that we find ourselves in now. Further, he once again scored memorable goals against Brighton and a brilliant double against Charlton to ensure bragging rights would remain in SE25.
Unfortunately, a serious knee injury sustained in the first leg of the Play-Off Semi-Final against Brighton at Selhurst Park would cut him down in his pomp and almost ruin his Premier League dream. Instead, he fought back and worked his backside off to force himself back into first team contention. The reception that he got when he returned to the first team as a substitute in our 3-1 win over West Brom at Selhurst Park was goosebump-inducing (below) and anyone who was there at the Liberty Stadium on the day that Muzza scored his first Premier League goal will remember the raw emotion that was flowing from the man as he celebrated in front of our supporters – it infected every single one of us that afternoon.
The fact was, however, that Glenn looked off the pace of the Premier League and when, on 1st September 2014, he joined Reading on loan until January, it looked like it was the end of Murray’s Crystal Palace career - but by this point we should have already known not to write him off.
"After a successful period at Reading, which again included a goal against Brighton, he returned to Selhurst Park."
After a successful period at Reading, which again included another goal against Brighton, he returned to Selhurst Park. When he was away the fans on the terraces were signing “Scoring goals for Reading” as time and time again Glenn would score for Reading as we failed in front of goal under Neil Warnock, with Murray's so-called replacement Kevin Doyle offering nothing to the cause. However, the form that Murray showed upon his return from Reading showed that it was the right move to get him, finally, into the right shape to be able to do himself justice at the top level of the English game.
On the 21st February 2014, he climbed off the bench and almost singlehandedly reeled in a 0-2 Arsenal lead. He scored in stoppage time and moments later hit the post, just failing to complete what would have been one of the best comebacks ever witnessed at Selhurst Park. This goal gave him the confidence to kick on and the following week would see him score twice at Upton Park before somewhat harshly being sent off after being booked two times for when committing just three innocuous fouls.
The suspension would not slow him down, however, and after giving the QPR centre-backs a lesson in a 3-1 win at Selhurst Park with a display full of power and genius hold up play, he was back on the scoresheet again, smashing home a penalty at the Britannia Stadium in a 2-1 Palace win.
Then came perhaps his biggest Premier League scalp, scoring the opening goal against the Champions Manchester City at Selhurst Park in yet another 2-1 Palace win. He wasn’t done there. Glenn would score for the third game running, opening the scoring in the 4-1 obliteration of Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
His final goal of the season, and perhaps his final Premier League goal for Palace, would come at Anfield, tapping home the rebound from his own missed penalty, in injury time to secure a 3-1 Palace win and ensure that he was known the world over as the Premier League said goodbye to Steve Gerrard.
When Glenn joined us just over four years ago, he was a little-known striker that had a decent scoring record in the lower levels of the English Football League. Today he is a striker that spearheaded a promotion to the Premier League and has scored against the biggest clubs in English football on the biggest stages.
There is a word that is thrown around way too lightly these days. But when we look back in years to come I know that it will still hold true to Muzza – legend.
Scoring goals for Palace! Glenn Murray, Glenn Murray!
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