Spurs 1-0 Palace
Crystal Palace turned out their worst performance of the season in a disappointing 1-0 defeat at White Hart Lane. Heung-Min Son scored his first Premier League goal for the hosts, firing through the legs of Palace stopper Alex McCarthy on 68 minutes. The visitors had struck the post in either half through Yohan Cabaye and Bakary Sako, the latter of which brilliantly saved by Hugo Lloris.
"I think the game hinged on those three minutes. Hugo Lloris made an unbelievable save and three minutes later they got the goal which our goalkeeper should have stopped” said Alan Pardew after the game.
"The margins were very tight but they were not in our favour throughout the game and we should have done better.
"If we are going to become a mid-table team that's not acceptable to me and it should not be acceptable to my players.
"We have to react. That's two defeats. They were against Manchester City and Tottenham but I don't care about the opposition. It's two defeats and we have to put that right."
Firing Blanks and Lacking Depth
For the second game running we drew a blank in front of goal and it is hardly surprising. Sure we have changed out style of football under Alan Pardew but the effectiveness still relies on having a big man up top that can hold up the play and bring in to play some of the most dangerous attacking players in the Premier League. Without a big man up top we look directionless and unlikely to score a large majority of the time.
Cabaye and Sako both struck the post in this match but these efforts finding the back of the net would have been more akin to a Tony Pulis performance – taking a couple of the very few chances that we would create in a game. If these two chances had found the back of the net it would have been merely papering over the cracks that are currently there.
Without Wickham we are practically useless going forward and this begs the question – why did we sell Glenn Murray? Sure the £5m seems like great business and he is coming towards the end of his career etc but if Muzza plays in the last two games, I am pretty sure that we beat both Manchester City last week and Spurs this week. Both were clearly there for the taking and an extra 6 points at the end of the season could easily be worth more than £5m in terms of where we place in the Premier League.
Perhaps this is the frustration of a disappointing performance and maybe it is partly the alcohol talking but at the beginning of the season we all knew that we needed another striker and a centre back. We didn’t sign a centre back and if the Scott Dann injury keeps him out for a few weeks then our performances will be greatly affected as playing Delaney and Hangeland, who both have very little pace, means that we have to sit a lot deeper than a possession type game requires. Meanwhile, we signed the extra striker we needed in Connor Wickham but then we sold Glenn Murray and are back to square one.
Of course it is tough to account for injuries but Wickham and Marouane Chamakh being injured means that we are left with playing Yannick Bolasie up front. Fraizer Campbell, as proved in his second half performance in this, is not the man to solve this problem. Wickham and Murray can both occupy both centre backs, Campbell couldn’t occupy a toilet. Meanwhile, Patrick Bamford is flattering to deceive. Both have had little game time and I appreciate this but at the highest level a team requires players that can step in when needed and perform. Less of a slight on Campbell and Bamford, this is probably more of a reality check for all of those people that thought that we were all of a sudden a team that could challenge for Europe. The fact is we do not have enough depth to challenge for European positions as we are struggling with personnel after just six games. Ending the game with Jordon Mutch on the left wing and Campbell and Bamford up front is proof of this. It stinks of a top level Championship team or a lower half Premier League team – not a top Premier League team.
We will finish between 8th and 12th this season I am sure but do not expect anymore. Remember, however, this would still signify progress.
I went a little bit easy on him last week after the mistake versus Manchester City that led to the goal but after yet another mistake I am finding it tough to not call for a return for Julian Speroni to the first team. Three times he got lucky with parries back into the six yard box in this one before getting beat at his near post, yet again, and through his legs to make it even worse.
How long can Pardew stick with him when he has two top class keepers waiting in the background? The fact that he is constantly a talking point should suggest that Pardew will have to take a look at it.
Man of the Match: Brede Hangeland
Performed admirably again when called upon late in the week. Put in some great tackles and was often there to clear when called upon.
I criticised our fans on Twitter today and apparently that is not ok. Despite the fact that we were singing “We’re Crystal Palace, we sing all the time” when being silent for large periods. It was embarrassing and it needs to be addressed.
We have built up a reputation, and rightly so, for being great in the stands but we have gained this reputation by performing in the stands regardless of what sort of performance the players are putting in on the pitch. Sing regardless and it will pull the level of the performance on the pitch up if it is not going so well. Standing there in silence and expressing more interest in singing about Harry Kane being an Arsenal fan (and then singing about Jason Puncheon being “One of our own” when he is, in fact, open about the fact that he supports Arsenal) instead of getting behind the team is ridiculous.
If you have any doubts about how bad we were today, look for the tweets for Palace players talking about how “great the fans were today” – here’s a clue, there aren’t any Tweets.
Up Next: Charlton
There are not many better opportunities to get things back on track than a game against Charlton. They lost 3-0 this weekend. Surely there is only one winner.
Come on you Palace.