BY SAM SMITH
James McArthur disagrees that Crystal Palace had a poor transfer window and has welcomed the addition of players in his midfield position.
The Eagles signed midfielders Victor Camarasa on a season-long loan and James McCarthy from Everton, who McArthur played with at both Hamilton Academical and Wigan Athletic.
The former Scotland international also welcomed the South Londoners keeping Wilfried Zaha, who McArthur insists has been a positive influence around the club despite handing in a transfer request last Wednesday.
“The signings we have made are going to aid the squad and make us much stronger,” said McArthur. “It’s been a great window, the club has done great business. Hopefully that can help us this year to push on.
“We needed [midfield additions]. Throughout the season you need a big squad, everyone is going to be used and everyone is going to be needed to help the squad.
“Keeping Wilf is a massive thing for the club. He’s a brilliant lad, and obviously at the time he felt he wanted to go. I must say his attitude has been amazing since he’s come back. He’s accepted the outcome and he’s fully committed to the squad, the team, the fans. Look at the fans’ reception, they appreciate everything he gives to the football club.”
McArthur was speaking following Palace’s opening day goalless draw against Everton. It was a result which the 31-year-old feels was a missed opportunity, such were the quality of the chances Hodgson’s side squandered – particularly after Morgan Schneiderlin was sent off for the Toffees on 76 minutes.
But the former Wigan midfielder does not believe the result – widely considered a positive one due to Everton’s heavy summer spending – sets a marker for a good season. For McArthur, looking further ahead than Saturday’s visit to newly-promoted Sheffield United would be the the Eagles’ detriment.
“It’s a hard one, to be honest,” was McArthur’s assessment of the Everton result. “There was a missed opportunity there with some of the chances that we had and them being down to 10 men. But after last week, it’s definitely a decent result against a good side.”
“It’s not about trying to look too far ahead, it’s about trying to win our next game. We need to look to see what we can do to beat Sheffield United. That’s all you can do at this level, if you try to get ahead of yourselves then it comes back to bite you in the bum.
“We need to do whatever we can to win football matches. When we get to a certain point, let’s say the 40-point mark, you reassess it. Right now, our aim is to win the next game.”
MAIN PHOTO: KEITH GILLARD