Max Meyer catapults himself into the hearts of the Palace faithful
A picture speaks a thousand words, and this one is a masterpiece.
Crystal Palace fans were understandably excited when Max Meyer arrived in SE25 during the summer transfer window. The German international was linked with a host of top Club’s before joining the Eagles and in his short spell at Palace to date, the ‘German Messi’ has already impressed.
The Palace number seven climbed off the bench on Sunday at Vicarage Road and changed the game. Watford seemed to be cruising to a comfortable 2-0 victory until Meyer replaced Jeffrey Schlupp and immediately assisted Wilfried Zaha’s record-breaking goal. Meyer released Zaha on the left the goal that followed saw the Palace number 16 surpass Chris Armstrong as Palace's all-time top scorer in the Premier League on 24 goals. Wilf will need another 16 goals to become Palace's all-time top scorer in the top flight - a record currently held by Mark Bright.
The assist, however, is not what has Crystal Palace fans falling in love with the little midfielder.
The big talking point of the game was Etienne Capoue’s cowards challenge on Zaha. With no attempt to play the ball and with total disregard to the damage that he could have done to the Palace forward, Capoue jumped in two-footed from behind and presented an entire boot worth of studs to Zaha’s calf before dragging his studs all the way down towards the heel.
The referee, Anthony Taylor, was no more than four yards away from the incident, with an unobstructed view. The man in black’s decision? A yellow card. A decision almost as criminal as the challenge itself.
Unfortunately, the awful challenge did not inspire vengeance from a Palace player. With the gentleman that Roy Hodgson is, I am not surprised. Perhaps football has moved on to a place where the fans shouldn’t expect a player to exact revenge on the culprit of such a shocking foul. I am not Roy Hodgson, I am not a gentleman, and I wanted someone to ‘leave a mark’ on Capoue.
Enter Max Meyer.
Moments after hauling Palace back into the game with his clever assist, the German found himself in a 50/50 with the former Spurs midfielder and did not shy away despite the huge difference in size between the two. Capoue got to the ball first, but Meyer followed through and levelled the coward with a crunching tackle.
“It’s 75-minutes too late” I yelled from the rain-soaked away end, but I was delighted nonetheless with the revenge that had been exacted.
Meyer was booked for the challenge, but the incident was far from over.
Later that evening, Meyer posted the picture of the season so far to his Instagram story.
Capoue lays prone on the ground, gripping where the German has smashed him, but Meyer almost looks to be celebrating the foul with a smile on his face as he points to the sky with both index fingers. Of course, he was wagging both fingers in trying to convince the referee that it wasn’t as bad as it looked.
In the background, the victim of the initial challenge, Zaha, grimaces. Maybe the severity of what Capoue has done has not yet sunk in for the Ivory Coast international. Or maybe it has, and Wilf is just realising that Meyer is off the list of people that he is prepared to nutmeg in training.
Either way, the assist, the tackle and the posting of this picture to Instagram has catapulted Meyer into the hearts of the Palace faithful.
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