In recent weeks, there has been some speculation linking us with Joe Ledley. I dismissed it when I first heard it because Joe has been a first choice at a Premier League club all season as Crystal Palace have enjoyed a second impressive campaign at that level, but the rumours were persistent and this story from earlier in the week suggests there may have been something to them. There’s something of an element of covering all bases to the story, but I’m more prepared to believe that something may happen with this one than I was previously as a result of it. The irony is that we would surely have stood a great chance of getting Joe when he signed for Palace in January 2014 for less than £1 million, but it was pretty clear that we were chasing “bigger fish” than him at that time - I thought he was exactly the type of player we needed back then and nothing that has happened since has made me change my mind.
There were a couple of rumours which emerged yesterday and they are both covered in this story. Regarding Alberth Elis, his name meant nothing to me before yesterday, but I think the reporter is probably right when he implies that City’s best, and, possibly, only, chance of getting him is to do a deal quickly – always assuming that there is any truth in the speculation of course. As for the Simon Moore to Leeds rumour, my first instinct when learning of it was that there may be something to it and, if it’s true that Leeds are prepared to pay £500,000 for him, then I’d say that might be a hard sum to resist. There was a time when we could afford to have £500,000 rated goalkeepers on our bench every week, but, given the club’s change in policy over the last eight or nine months, I think they have gone now – by the way, on the subject of good second choice goalkeepers, congratulations to Tom Heaton on his selection in the England squad this week.
The only other thing to report is how the Play Offs are progressing. In League Two, ex City players Joe Jacobson and Aaron Holloway suffered heartbreak as their Wycombe side (managed by ex City loanee Gareth Ainsworth) were, first, pegged back by a Southend equaliser deep into added time at the end of the game and then beaten in the penalty shoot out despite both of them scoring from their spot kicks themselves – in fact, Joe all but scored Wycombe’s goal when his free kick hit the underside of the cross bar before glancing off the Southend keeper into the net.
In League One, Preston trounced Swindon 4-0 yesterday to clinch what was probably a deserved promotion given how far clear of the other Play Off sides they finished in the regular season. Just as in League Two, the team I had supported during the Final had been beaten though, thereby maintaining my remarkable record in these matches whereby around 98% of the sides I support end up losing (how on earth we managed we managed to beat QPR in 2003, Lord only knows!) – all of which, almost certainly, means very bad news for Norwich City fans when they take on Middlesbrough for a place in the Premier League next season this afternoon!