Hull 3-3 Palace

Snodgrass (27 pen) Diomande (72) Livermore (78)
Benteke (52 pen) Zaha (70) Campbell (89)
Sat 10th December 2016
Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace helplessly let another three points against inferior opposition slip away as Hull City, averaging 0.8 goals per game before this match, found a way past Wayne Hennessey three times to earn a point. The clean sheet earned in the three-nil win over Southampton now looks to have been by accident rather than design.

The Eagles have now scored SEVEN goals in their last two away games and only have one solitary point for their efforts. Something in broken in South London.

Robert Snodgrass dived to win a penalty that saw the hosts ahead at the break, but the outstanding Wilfried Zaha won a penalty that was coolly converted by Christian Benteke, the Belgians eighth goal of the season, to level just before the hour. 

With the visitors in control and pressing for a winner, it looked inevitable that Zaha’s incredible solo effort on 70 minutes would see Alan Pardew’s men run off with the three points. 

Instead, shocking defending (is it still shocking if you’re expecting shocking defending?) allowed Hull to score twice within eight minutes of Zaha’s strike through Adama Diomande and Jake Livermore. However, a very strong penalty appeal from Benteke was turned down and Livermore scored from the resulting counter-attack.

Pardew immediately threw on Fraizer Campbell and the striker bailed him out with one minute of normal time remaining. Zaha was the creator once again with his new found cut across the ball cross and Campbell left the keeper stranded with his near post header.

Mike Jones and “The Cheat” Robert Snodgrass

This definitely ranks up there with one of the worst decisions that we have been on the wrong end of in recent years. It is certainly on a par with Jonathan Moss giving Manchester United a penalty at Old Trafford when Ashley Young was actually fouled three yards outside the penalty area.

I am not entirely sure how he managed to get the decision so wrong. His line of sight was good and he was close enough to the play to have been able to actually hear if there was any contact. If after all of that he still thought it was a penalty, the reaction of Scott Dann should have told him how wrong he was. What adds more insult to injury is the fact that Robert Snodgrass was on a yellow card. Instead of receiving a second yellow for diving, he is putting Hull 1-0 ahead from the spot.

However, Robert Snodgrass should shoulder more blame here. He shamelessly took to Twitter after the game to admit that it wasn’t a penalty and that he was trying to ride the incoming tackle. Here is a novel concept, how about you just tell the referee that it was not a penalty and that he should reverse his decision? Get up off your cheating arse, walk over to the referee and say; “there was no contact ref.” Then, roll the ball back to the keeper from the spot and play on at 0-0. If he actually felt anyway about cheating, he would have either deliberately missed – or at least have shown some class when he scored the penalty by hanging his head and walking back to the centre circle without a celebration. Instead, he ran off celebrating. Jumping in the air, putting his fingers to his lips and all around loving life. He didn’t look like someone that was remorseful, so stick the apology Tweet up your backside sunshine. 

It then got worse for the referee, Jones. Scott Dann was booked for giving away the penalty. For not fouling a player that was running down a dead end, the Palace captain received a yellow card. Meanwhile, Snodgrass committed four fouls, including giving away a penalty, and dived, which Jones would have found out at half-time, and somehow stayed on the field of play. Zaha would have actually been in a goal-scoring position if Snodgrass had not fouled him – so what is the logic in booking Dann and not booking Snodgrass? 

Then came the final kick in the teeth. Benteke skips around a couple of Hull defenders and is fouled from behind in the penalty area. The ref waves play on, Hull counter and within seconds are leading 3-2. 
Good luck to whoever gets Jones in the next few weeks in the lower leagues, because that is surely where he is heading after that performance.

8 (EIGHT) Goals Conceded in Two Away Games

Before Crystal Palace turned up at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea had scored just 11 goals in 12 games. That is a 45% (FORTY-FIVE PERCENT) increase.

Before Crystal Palace turned up at the ‘whatever they call it now’ Stadium, Hull had scored just 11 goals in 14 matches. That is a 27% (TWENTY-SEVEN PERCENT) increase. 

What does Alan Pardew have to say about it at the end of the match? 

“It was more open than I would have liked it.”

Is he an internet troll? Is his sole intention to wind people up that pay through the nose to support the Club? Again I have to ask, what the hell is the PR woman that we poached from the FA actually doing around PR? Has she not sat Pardew down and told him that he sounds like the village idiot?

However, you are wrong, Mr Pardew. The game was not open – not until you made the most ridiculous substitution, costing us the game in the process.

The Yohan Cabaye Equation Worsens

Yes, that is right – the decision to take off James McArthur and bring on Yohan Cabaye. Undoubtedly, Pardew will be saying that McArthur was on a yellow card, but as already discussed – Jones didn’t seem keen to send off a player when it was gift wrapped in the form of stopping a player from getting through on goal inside the penalty area.

We were winning - Cabaye comes on - we are almost immediately losing. This is when the game become open. Before then, we were cruising. 

I am not blaming Cabaye here. He is a great player; I do not doubt that. He either doesn’t understand what Pardew is trying to get him to do and is doing it wrong; he is ignoring what Pardew is telling him to do, or he is doing exactly what Pardew is telling him to do. Whatever it is – Cabaye is doing it wrong.

No, I am blaming Pardew. The decision to make the change was made when the score was 1-1. Cabaye was waiting to come on when Zaha smashed home the go-ahead goal. This means that I have to ask Pardew the question – WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING STILL MAKING THE CHANGE?

Is it just me, or if the whole structure of the game has just changed, wouldn’t you take a step back and give yourself a few minutes to see how the pattern of the game is going to develop before replacing a player that is up to speed with the game? Pardew should tell Cabaye to sit back down for five minutes and think. Instead, he didn’t think and this undoubtedly cost us the win. 

I said that I though Pardew needed a minimum of six points against Swansea, Southampton and Hull. We have somehow conspired to take only four, instead of all nine. How can the Club possibly continue to support such ineptitude?

I understand that, theoretically, we can’t get any worse at defending set pieces. I understand that, theoretically, a large percentage of shots that are hitting the target of our goal are going in and that this percentage will have to drop over the season. I understand that the amount of goals that we are scoring at the end, according to the stats, are maintainable. But at some point, someone has to say that enough is enough. The manager is making losing decisions and that will make it very difficult for those percentages to even out to the extent that they need to. 
The likelihood is that we are going to be in the relegation zone by this time next week. If Steve Parish can look me in the face and say that he was expecting that from the first-half of the season, I would say carry on. But, there is no way that he could say that. We have spent big and are grossly underachieving. Of course, there is always the ‘team in transition’ argument – but the FACT that we have hit more long balls than any other team in the division suggests that the transition is either a myth or it is a transition from an excellent counter-attacking side into a shit long ball side. You choose.

Andros Townsend

How much did we spend on him?

I have no idea what the man offers to the team.

When he came in my preconception was that he was going to offer us 7/10 performances each week. Nothing special, but more consistency than was previously offered by the departing Yannick Bolasie, who was 9/10 once every seven games and 6/10 the rest of the time.
Instead, we have bought a bloke that is 3/10 for fourteen games and 5/10 for one game.

I am not buying the argument that he is ‘playing on the wrong wing’ either. Zaha and Townsend switch all of the time and spend equal time on each wing. Townsend looks equally useless on both.


Man of the Match: Wilfried Zaha

I’ve long since run out of superlatives to describe Wilf. He was once again the best player on the pitch and the whole England situation looks more ridiculous with each game that passes.

From the get go he was terrorising Hull and only a brilliant save from David Marshall early on stopped him from opening the scoring early doors.

Three goals, six assists, one own goal forced and one penalty won leaves no doubt that Zaha has solved the end product issues of his game. His cross for the goal was beautiful, and his goal was nothing short of magical.

I have always said that once he sorts out his final product, he will fly into the world class bracket and potentially beyond. If he manages to produce in either of the next two games, against serious opposition, I think that a lot of teams will be knocking on the door come January.

Up Next: Manchester United

We have had a day’s extra rest than United as they played on Sunday. That is literally all I have. 

Puncheon is suspended, Cabaye will play, and Herrera and Pogba will take liberties with the Frenchman – especially when you consider that Cabaye doesn’t like to tackle his French teammates (seriously, watch him jockey Pogba but never actually tackle him).

Meanwhile, with Tomkins out – Kelly will be playing up against Martial. Good luck with that.

Come on you Palace.

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Mike Jones


Opposition Manager: 
Mike Phelan