Match Opinion: Palace 0-1 Southampton
Roy Hodgson took charge of his first game in charge of Crystal Palace today at Selhurst Park in the early game. Did Palace get a new manager bounce?
|Cabaye 33′, Puncheon 50′, Ward 57′, McArthur 67′, Dann 82′||Yellow Cards||Long 77′|
|Goal Scorers||Davis 6′|
The Expat Eagle’s Verdict
Crystal Palace have now played 5 league games under 3 different managers resulting in 0 goals scored, 10 goals against and 0 points earned.
I totally acknowledge that one of the games included in the above statistic was played at the end of last season when the team and the manager were already ‘on the beach’., having already secured out Premier League status and decided to ‘retire’.
In the case of Sam Allardyce he not only had secured our Premier League status but he had also decided to ‘retire’ before the penultimate game of the season at home to Hull City. In that game we banged 4 past them without reply.
I, like any sane minded fan, knew there wouldn’t be a swift turn of fortunes after Roy Hodgson took over. After all he had only had the opportunity to take charge of 2 full training sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. What can anyone really achieve in that time?
The task in hand is a big one, we all knew that, and the damage Roy has to repair was only done during Frank de Boer’s time in charge. The damage to some extent was papered over during Sam Allardyce’s time in charge and stems from the tenure of Alan Pardew.
That said, if you want to delve a little deeper the foundations of the crisis we are going through were actually laid in the first summer after our Premier League promotion was won. Back then Steve Parish and Ian Holloway laid the groundwork for the years ahead with the kind of signings which a club who expected to get relegated would make.
I can’t fault them, we all expected to go straight back down and planning for that eventuality was probably the sensible thing to do after all our promotion was unplanned and unexpected.
The problem is we are still paying for those decisions today. Subsequent signings were in a similar vein and a cursory look at the bench would see proof of this in Sako, Lee and Kelly.
It isn’t the player’s fault that the club outgrew them almost as soon as they put their signature on the contract. It isn’t their fault that the wages they earn at Palace are such that clubs in the Championship can’t afford to sign them. It is their fault that they show a lack of ambition that prevents them wanting to go elsewhere and play football for less money.
However, it is their fault that they show a lack of ambition that prevents them wanting to go elsewhere and play football for less money. But, in truth, would we take a 40% pay cut to work somewhere else voluntarily?
But you don’t really need to look at the bench to find the lack of quality that cost us the game. A speculative ball was prodded across the 6-yard box and Wayne Hennessey pushed it out into the path of Davis to steered the ball back into the opposite side of the goal where a desperate Joel Ward tried to keep it out with a back kick.
Both players have come under considerable criticism during the last 12 months and longer. It is the lack of competition in both positions which have been two of the biggest criticisms during this period along with someone to push Christian Benteke.
In fact, it is the lack of competition up front which I would argue is more important than competition for Hennessey and Ward. When all is said and done Hennessey is the first choice goalkeeper for Wales who are not a third world country when it comes to international stature.
When all is said and done Hennessey is the first choice goalkeeper for Wales who are not a third world country when it comes to international stature.
Joel Ward for his part is a competent if unremarkable right back who’s failings are highlighted by lack of support by the winger playing in front of him and mistakes by centre backs.
Up front, however, Benteke isn’t scoring and doesn’t look like he is going to anytime soon. In games such as today when we leak a single goal having a striker who can knock one in at the other end will end up securing us a point rather than suffering a one-goal defeat.
In the second half, we perked up and took the game to Southampton but we never looked like we were going to score and just like in other games this season our opposition looked like they were managing us rather than trying to contain us.
When the final whistle came it felt like a relief for the players and fans. Not because either of us wanted to lose the game but because we can put the experience behind us and look to the future.
No fan I’ve spoken to expects us to get anything from the trip to both Manchester clubs, let alone score a goal.
If we are to see any improvement in our fortunes at all it will come at Chelsea after the international break. Even then the best I hope to see is a spirited defeat with the hope of scoring than an actual point.
I think secretly most fans are looking at the Brighton fixture coming up in November and would accept our start to the season if we get to wallop the ‘fleagulls’ in return.
Verdict: Hope for the best but expect the worst. Prepare for life in the second tier, we’re going down!
|Crystal Palace (4411)||6.59||Southampton (4231)||7.00|
Match rating courtesy of WhoScored.
|Ball Possession %
Match statistics courtesy of WhoScored.