By 90Min
October 17, 2017

At 4:54pm on Saturday afternoon, a noise akin to that of an earthquake reverberated around south London as Andre Marriner put his whistle to his lips to finalise Crystal Palace's first Premier League points of the season; against the champions Chelsea of all teams. 

All ten outfield players donning the red and blue that finished the spectacle celebrated the monumental victory as you would expect a side who had just embarked on a seven game barren spell to, with an abundance of fist pumping and embracing on view atop the Selhurst Park pitch.

But one player's actions stood out in particular amongst those who view the game through red and blue tinted glasses. 

Once most of the squad had strolled off down the tunnel to receive their thoroughly well deserved post match treatments, there remained one man out on the Selhurst turf; Julian Speroni. 


The phrase 'out on the turf' should be used in the loosest terms, as the Argentine was in fact almost engulfed entirely amongst the adorning fans in the stands following his first league appearance of the campaign. 

Many may have looked to Saturday's surprise victory as a direct result of the mercurial Wilfried Zaha's return, but if you scratch a bit beneath the surface, the true source of glory can be traced back to the fortuitous return of Palace's cult hero between the sticks. 

The man from Buenos Aires found himself starting from the off in a league game for the first time since May of last year as a result of the calamitous Wayne Hennessey's injury, and unsurprisingly proved to be an inspirational figure for his teammates and fans alike. 


Just the 38-year-old's presence around the ground generates positive vibes, and as a season ticket holder myself, I can wholeheartedly say that the result nor the atmosphere would've had the same outcome should the Welshman have started the game instead. 

Yes, he may not be the keeper he used to be, nor does he command his box as effectively as a Premier League keeper should, but what he does possess is the immeasurable respect of his teammates, which in turn makes them want to play for him whilst also igniting a raucous buzz around the ground as the Selhurst faithful adorn him. 


Speroni embodies everything that the club stands for, maintaining a top, top attitude and show of professionalism whilst Hennessey undeservedly kept the number one shirt by keeping himself match fit and ready to be called upon. 


The former Dundee man has spent just over 14 years in south London, playing under 13 different managers, earning four Player of the Year awards as well as becoming the most appeared keeper in the club's history in the process, whilst also showing his commitment to the cause by refusing to be sold during administration just to earn the club a bit of capital. 

'Jules' has become a fully fledged south London native during his time at Palace, going as far as opening a restaurant in Purley to tie down some roots in the area, and even at the age of 38 he remains the club's best goalkeeper in terms of ability as well as inspiration. 

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