Competitive League Could Hurt Palace
Welcome back to this week’s edition of Fan Chat, after another mildly disappointing result at the weekend against Leicester City.
Last season’s Premier League champions haven’t endured the best of starts to the season however, they brushed Palace aside with relative ease, to record a victory that draws them and us level on points.
It was a very tactical game, which showed the importance, and indeed the difference it makes, having a well planned formation and spotting a weakness in the opposition early to take advantage of. Claudio Ranieri saw that weakness in the heart of our defence with Delaney, and chose to exploit that by playing their talisman Riyad Mahrez in the centre, rather than out wide, a decision made in the first twenty minutes of the game.
It is clear that without Dann, our defence is exceptionally vulnerable, and Delaney, as much as I love him, is just not up to the job any more. I believe he was flattered last year with there being a greater number of ‘weaker’ teams in the league. Now, with the standard this season, we can clearly see he just isn’t a capable defender up to the Premier League standard.
I collaborated not long ago, with all TEB writers, for an article about our favourite Crystal Palace starting eleven, and Delaney was amongst my choices for centre back. However favourite and best are two very different things, and sadly, hoofball and passion just won’t cut it anymore, and telling the local paper after every game the performance wasn’t good enough each time really doesn’t help. It’s a sad day when it comes to saying this, but when Dann is back, he needs to be dropped, and replaced in the transfer window.
In fact, I have noticed a few weaknesses in our team recently, certainly we are short in defence, exposed by two concurrent injuries, but also central midfield, where Joe Ledley has really struggled on many occasions this season. No doubt I’ll say this and both he and Delaney will put in outstanding performances this week, but I think we need to approach the winter transfer window with a view to replacing the both of them. Beard or no beard, we need some real quality on the pitch now considering the standard of this year’s Premier League.
Despite the best efforts of our editor, we couldn’t get Gary Lineker to give us a pre-match interview about Leicester. Such a shame because I know that would have been a very interesting and popular piece, however I feel he was otherwise occupied, defending himself against the press for his views on the current situation in Calais.
Now, I’m not going to come out in support of him, or against him for this matter, but, surely it’s mad that the attention falls to Lineker, or any celebrity for making a statement like that? Everyone is entitled to an opinion, whether it is right or wrong is for others to decide, however to threaten, chastise and insult someone for holding a strong opinion on something is just wrong.
Why is it, that on Twitter, people feel the need to upset others? If I write a piece for TEB that someone disagrees with, I have been fortunate enough to receive encouraging and constructive feedback or opinions to gauge current fan feelings.It’s so important to be constructive when talking to anyone about their opinion, rather than just resorting to arguing and name calling if someone disagrees with you, and I feel in this situation, Lineker has been extremely unfairly treated, both by Twitter users and the national press.
The focus really ought to be on the horrifying situation that many people find themselves in, and our thoughts should be with them and others who are less fortunate than ourselves, not that of worrying about what other celebrities think and whether people agree or not.
Let’s get back to football.
We’ve got a tough home fixture against Liverpool coming up this weekend, a team who we normally perform quite well against in recent years. Unfortunately, with the way they have been playing recently, I am concerned that we are going to struggle. Jurgen Klopp has got the Reds playing some very impressive football, and I don’t even believe that they are firing on all cylinders yet. If our defending is as bad against them as it was Leicester and West Ham, we could be looking at a cricket score.
We need that plan B for when things are not going our way, mixing it up, playing three at the back perhaps to push more men upfield. It’s a hopeful suggestion but when we go one or two goals down, we carry on the same, nothing changes. I’m definitely not an expert but it’s time for change, because if we do not adapt, we will be punished, and we cannot afford that, not in this league, not ever.
I would be interested in your thoughts, leave a comment or send a message to TEB on Twitter or Facebook about what you think is going wrong, or what we could do to reverse our fortunes. Is it simply a change in tactics required, or something more serious like a change in personnel, even the manager? Let me have your thoughts.
Most importantly though, keep enjoying Palace, seriously! It’s never been a smooth ride and this season will certainly be no exception.