It was always meant to be for Jordan Ayew today: facing his former club, on the back of earning victory against Manchester United and at the heart of attack after Palace attack, the forward had Selhurst Park as his stage for a well crafted script.
When he netted in front of the Holmesdale Road faithful, Ayew expressed his emotions at the goal with typical passion and was ultimately the deciding factor in Palace’s convincing victory this afternoon.
With manager Roy Hodgson expressing his happiness for Ayew following the match and the club making him a permanent member of the squad this summer, the Ghanaian has a point to prove.
Speaking post-match after the victory, he explained his attempts to ‘pay back’ the club, its staff and Chairman Steve Parish for their continued support over the past year.
He said: “Since I came to this football club, the staff, Chairman, everyone are motivating me. So even if I had a difficult year last season, they still trust in me and they signed me this year. The thing I have to do is pay them back on the pitch and that’s what I try to do. I work hard every day and now it’s paying off. I hope it continues.
“It’s one step at a time and we’ll just continue. It’s the beginning of the season and we just keep on doing the basics right and get rewarded.”
Ayew was then asked about the substitution which seemed primed to happen moments before he scored, something Hodgson has explained as necessary due to the striker’s relentless work rate and running.
“I don’t pay attention to those things,” Ayew said, before explaining how Hodgson accommodates more than one striker. “Christian is my very good friend and obviously we all want to play. The manager has chosen a system where we both will come and play. Like I said, he’s my friend – one of my very good friends – so there’s no problem about that.”