West Ham 3-0 Palace

Feghouli (68) Carroll (79) Lanzini (86)
Sat 14th January 2017
London Stadium

Crystal Palace turned out another embarrassing performance as West Ham scored three second-half goals at the London Stadium. Without Wilfried Zaha, the Eagles looked devoid of ideas in the final third while Wayne Hennessey was, yet again, in a generous mood between the sticks.

If you’re looking for some inspiration or some green shoots of positivity, click the X in the top right-hand corner of the screen as this is not the article for you. I wish that there could be, I really do, but whenever my thoughts turn to Crystal Palace at the moment, I find nothing but misery.

This blog is now into its seventh season, and for the first time, I am finding it very difficult to find the desire to actually write these articles. This is the first time that this has happened.

Before this match, West Ham had only scored two goals from open play in the previous eleven games at the London Stadium. We roll up and let them score every shot on target. Swansea have only 15 points, 6 from us. Hull put three past us. Burnley put three past us. We are an utter embarrassment and if I read one more time that Scott Dann has said that “we need to do better” I am going to walk into moving traffic.

Allardyce has come in, and all we have seen is a reaction for one measly half of football – and even then we couldn’t put a useless, injury-plagued Watford to the sword. At least under Pardew, we’d score goals. Now we simply concede just as many as we did under the previous gaffer, but now look as likely to score as 16-year-old spotty me with a chick.

I genuinely cannot believe what I am watching. Andros Townsend is staking a claim for the worst player that I have ever seen in a Palace shirt. Christian Benteke has developed a ten-yard first touch and managed to fire off a grand total of ZERO shots in the entire match. Joel Ward needs to start praying to a new God because it is clear that his one isn’t listening. I can’t even bring myself to lay into Wayne Hennessey anymore. If he isn’t dropped after that shower, we might as well all pack up and go home.

To get to 36 points, which should be enough for safety this season, we need to win six of the remaining seventeen Premier League matches. Next up is Everton, who have just put Manchester City to the sword. Then we head to Bournemouth, who we still haven’t beaten since they were promoted. Then Sunderland will be heading to London, trying to make it three wins in a row at Selhurst Park. Where are these six wins coming from? Manchester City away? Liverpool away? Manchester United away?

Maybe I just need to relax. Jeffrey Schlupp will save us, right?

By the end of the window, the team will be full of even more mercenaries. Players that will be more concerned about how many extra thousands of pounds they can wean from us as opposed to actually playing for the badge. The fight won’t be sufficient, and our only chance of survival is that three teams might, somehow, be worse than us.

Maybe 13 months of being hammered over the head with awful results have destroyed my ability to forward think. Maybe Allardyce, now that he has his backroom team in place, will find a way to turn it around. Maybe we will replicate Pulis’ Palace and ultimately finish well clear of relegation.


Then again, maybe the hell will just continue on Tuesday night when we lose to League One opposition in the Cup, only for everyone to say “we could do without a Cup run.”

Thirteen months ago, we were in arguably the greatest shape this Club has ever been in. How has it come to this? A lot of Palace fans suggest that Steve Parish has not let us down yet. Well, if he can find us a way out of this one, it will be the biggest feather in his cap to date.

In other news, how about that Andy Carroll goal! Although I do wish that teams would reserve their ‘worldy’ goals for other teams.

There are some small mercies. At least I don’t have to go and watch Palace play in that Stadium every other week.

Someone wake me up when all of this is over – or when Jordon Mutch has finally been sold.

The Holmesdale Radio Preview Podcast will be returning this week. For more of the above, look out for the release on all the usual podcasts platforms on Thursday morning.

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Neil Swarbrick

Crystal Palace

Palace Manager: 
Sam Allardyce


Opposition Manager: 
Slaven Bilic