Win At Chelsea? It’s Not Impossible
When you are this desperate, you refuse to forget and move on. I can see myself already tallying up points we have pathetically donated to other teams.
Everton and Bournemouth at home, West Ham United away. That is without any thought whatsoever, points that we had in the bag, but it must of been a JD Sports Bag that give way with hardly any resistance.
Nine games remaining and we are still enduring this dreaded run of season defining games against the Premier League ‘Big Boys’. Yet, to many peoples surprise, due to my ‘constantly negative’ narrative I seem to have been labelled with when it comes to Palace which is essentially some disliking valid opinions that do not coincide with their own, I will say I am confident about the Chelsea game.
Ridiculous, right? Analysing it more closely, Chelsea have racked up four losses in their last five Premier League games, one being an outrageous 3-0 hammering at the Bridge by Bournemouth. What I am trying to convey is that Chelsea are not in the greatest form given the talent they have at their disposal.
Having watched their loss against Manchester City last week, quite honestly, I would have preferred spending my time on a jam-packed 157 bus to Wallington after a 4-0 loss to Sunderland. It was a tragic performance by Chelsea, but it is obvious that their game-plan will not be repeated against opposition such as us. Having not lost at Stamford Bridge for two years, I really fancy us to do a typical Palace thing and absolutely ruin every Saturday accumulator.
We need to just repeat our performance against United. Remove those two embarrassing pieces of defending that led to our downfall, and we could probably do without a Rudiger 57-yard thunderbolt, Wayne Hennessey has sufferered enough without that happening.
Keep the positive attacking outlook, the calm decisions when pressured, and ideally another masterclass by our very own Aaron Wan-Bissaka to keep Eden Hazard in his pocket, and we might just pull off the Great Escape, starting at the Bridge. With a very slim chance, but still a chance, my sweet prince Wilfried Zaha could soon make his return. I can only compare the feeling to something similar to when your first child is born. The work and dedication we have seen Zaha put in to even be in contention for the bench so early after his injury just sums this club up. That is why he is Mr Crystal Palace.
I am a huge fan of the blossoming partnership up front of Christian Benteke and Alexander Sorloth partnership. Even though there has not been a clear cut goal for them to celebrate between them since they have been paired up, you can clearly see that it is only a few tweaks away from being a potential deadly partnership.
From what I have seen of the big Norwegian, his pace surprises me for a lad of his build, and if Benteke can catch just a glimpse of that form from this time last season, those two playing off each other with the additional fuel from Zaha and Andros Townsend, there is so much potential to give Premier League defences sleepless nights. Theoretically, we should be slamming goals home, so what exactly is going wrong on the pitch?
Confidence. It is slowly creeping its way back into our players, given our situation it was certain would be shakey. Our performance on Monday night should have given the dressing room a huge boost, regardless of the result. We went out with a plan to attack them, and it worked wonders. I wish we could forget the rest of the story that followed, but we know our players, and every single one of them steps up when needed. I just hope it is not just a little too late.
In-game management is becoming a problem. I have got as good a guess as you have when it comes to substitutions. In this league, you cannot go the whole game without a tactical substitution, it is the main reason we are in this mess. My main frustration is the fact that Roy Hodgson is a very good manager and has been in this business a very long time.
I know for a fact he is a very intelligent man, knows this is an issue and most likely dislikes it as much as we do. My only guess is that our below standard bench puts him off making any changes, with a large majority of them not being up to Premier League standard. Nonetheless, a fresh pair of legs for the final ten minutes makes an enormous difference, not just to the game, but to our season. Ninety minutes every game has got to take a toll on our boys, you can say the usual ‘£50k a week they should be able to play ninety minutes’ but it is just not that simple.
Yes, the squad is thin, but nobody knows what goes on behind the scenes. You can sit there blaming the owners for our transfer business, but I would love to see a few of you run a successful Premier League football club. It is not a FIFA career mode, it is not as simple as agreeing a fee and signing a player.
There was a very interesting behind the scenes video on Sheffield United’s transfer deadline day that I suggest you all watch. It is a real eye-opener on what really happens. They had five targets set to join, and through reasons that not even unlimited cash at their disposal would have fixed, they only had two of them sign on the dotted line come 11pm.
Realistically, nobody is expecting us to take anything from this game. Perform like we did against United, and we have a very good chance of walking into work on Monday and having until at least until August to torment the life out of those irritating Chelsea fans at every chance possible. Anything below that standard, then, you know the rest by now.
I want to see that fight that we are so famous for. We have it in us. Our season starts now!