Blackpool 1-0 Palace
M Phillips (85)
Mon 1st April 2013
Deep breath... Crystal Palace lost for the third game on the bounce as ten man Blackpool stole the three points through a late Matt Phillips strike. Ferguson saw red four minutes before the break for a second yellow but Palace proved to be the fools on April 1st as they failed to peel open the Tangerines defence.
If the wheels were wobbling after the Birmingham debacle, they have probably fallen off after this defeat. At least that’s how it feels on the surface. I look out on to the field during games and see a team bereft of ideas playing as if the world is on their shoulders and they are buckling under the weight.
It is extremely bizarre! I have seen the very same players tear into teams and show absolutely no fear whatsoever as they ran over all comers earlier in the season. So, where is it all going wrong?
I refuse to believe it is a question of character. With the likes of Delaney, Ramage and Jedinak we have leaders who should be able to pick up the team.
Confidence is certainly low.
Confidence is certainly low. Sadly, it all seems to centre around the Brighton game. The first half of that games was the last time that we truly played well and I think that if we had scored the first goal in that game we would not be suffering as we are now. The confidence was then sapped by the two goals and we are still feeling the after effects. Well play Brighton, grrrr.
Is it the tactics? We are certainly not playing the same type of football that we played earlier in the season. If we were playing Championship manager, our passing style would be set to mixed as opposed to short earlier in the season. With the pace we have in Bolasie and Zaha this shoulder create chances for us, however, it is just not happening for them. Party because of the service and partly because of the movement. Anyone who was there to watch the game would appreciate that Phillips and Ince are doing exactly what Holloway wants Zaha and Bolasie to do and it is very effective, as shown through their winner.
This may prove controversial, but our performance levels have taken a dip since Garvan got injured.
Palace record with Garvan:
- Played: 23 (2)
- Won: 12
- Drawn: 8
- Lost: 5
- Pts: 44
- Goals: 47
- Goals per Game: 1.88
Palace record without Garvan:
- Played: 15
- Won: 6
- Drawn: 3
- Lost: 6
- Pts: 21
- Goals: 21
- Goals per Game: 1.40
Owen Garvan’s ability to find space between the defence and midfield and move the ball on quickly is hugely underrated by Palace fans. Williams, Moritz and Dobbie all hold onto the ball a lot longer than Garvan and this ends often with our attacks slowing down as the movement is sideways. With Garvan his first look is always forward and he has the passing range to pick great balls into the wingers or striker.
There were many times in this match when we were just crying out for that killer pass only for Dobbie and then Moritz and Williams to take one touch too many and thus get closed out by a impressive pressing performance from the home team. Sure the pitch didn’t help, however, surely it is better to put the pressure on the defence with a bobbly pass as opposed to embarking on a difficult to control dribble.
All this said, this does not mean that we cannot do it without him. We have shown that we can. The decimation of Hull springs immediately to mind. It just all needs to be a little tighter in the final third. What looks like an injured Murray certainly isn’t helping either. “He almost didn’t make the trip” said Holloway after the game.
Speaking of Holloway. I just cannot agree with anyone who is calling for him to be sacked. For whom? If one of you says Martin O’Neill I will scream. He is here to stay and short of us looking like relegation fodder anytime in the next three years or so (outside of the Prem of course) he will not be going anywhere. Deal with it and get behind him. We can be a big factor in the run in, something that we have not been in the last three games. I have not been so disappointed with the Palace supports as I have in the last three games since the Taylor days. Sort it out!
Back to the squad and what is clear for me is the following. Delaney and Ramage need to regain a bit of confidence, especially when we concede first. KG needs to step up. If he can find his early season form then we will still have a shot at automatic especially if Watford hold on to their lead at Hull. (this may have finished by the time I have finished, so select appropriately). Finally, Zaha and Bolasie need to rediscover their game changing form. It is all there and achievable. We just need to step up and take it.
Man of the Match: Speroni
Could do nothing about the goal and made two world class stops to keep us in the game. He is doing his part, despite conceding eight goals in the last three (all of which he could do nothing about).
Non-existent really. Blackpool fans really started singing for the last fifteen minutes and I have no doubt that this helped inspire their team to victory. We have never been a set of fans to go quiet when things are not going our way. Let’s not start now!
Barnsley up next. Naturally they have rediscovered their form just in time to play us... It’s going to be tough but my faith is strong.