Friday, 26 August 2016

Are Palace in more trouble than AFCB?

I guess we will only find out how Crystal Palace are doing this season when AFCB take them on this Saturday. Neither wants to be in this position but the loser will surely be propping up the table and for the Cherries it has been not so unexpected considering the teams they have played so far. But for Palace it must have been sickening to lose to WBA and if they lose this one they'll know they are going to be in a battle at the wrong end of the table.

Alan Pardew has not held the cash back this summer, but his transfers in may not be the kind of players to truly excite. His biggest signing is Christian Benteke who was a real misfit at Liverpool but was a solid enough striker for Aston Villa. The price-tag was huge though at £27m and Benteke will need quality crosses into the box to make an impact. Palace will hope that comes from Andros Townsend, who seems to be a bit of a lost sole having moved from Spurs to Newcastle and now to Palace. I do wonder if the big forward is something that Pardew can't get out of his head though. It didn't work with Emmanuel Adebayor and if Benteke doesn't hit the spot it will be a lot of pressure on Connor Wickham, now that Dwight Gayle and of course Glenn Murray are no longer at the club.
It's a game neither side can afford to lose.
The big departure was Yannick Bolassie to Everton. How much of a miss he will be is what Crystal Palace's season may hang on. If Townsend can bridge that gap they may be okay, but if they struggle to get the goals and expect Wilfred Zaha to have a sensational season then they could come unstuck. Yesterday, Spurs were linked with Zaha, so they could also be without him, although chairman Steve Parish was adamant on TalkSport that Zaha was going  nowhere his transfer window. Mile Jedinak was also a solid performer for them, now at Villa. They'll hope that James Tomkins from West Ham is a signing that stops goals going in at their end, but you wonder where the excitement is in this Palace side. Puncheon is always a wild card who can be brilliant on his day or the man Pardew can't wait to sub while Campbell and Lee Chong-Yong won't score too many. The Eagles quality is really found in Yohan Cabaye in midfield, but I wonder if he should be playing in a stronger side.

Of course Palace will feel they owe this Bournemouth side a beating having lost to them at Selhurst Park last season. The biggest obstacle that Eddie Howe can put in front of Palace though is to play Benik Afobe, just so they know they could be in for another tough 90 minutes.


  1. For me its the acid test as to whether the manager sticks with his favourites or reality there is little to chose between the team that played at Morecambe and the team that played at West ham.

    It seems to me the time has come to make a few changes...Ake/Lewis Cook for Marc Wilson fit..and putting Arter either out of the team or on the bench will send a message to him no more nonsense.

    Wilson to continue..probably but Afobe scrored against Palace last year...and as for Grabban...well enough said..isn't it time to bring Mousset into the picture....

    If we lose I suspect there will be a lot of discontent....and I have forgotten about Gradel..

    1. 100%... The team picks have been frustrating to say the least. It feels like Howe is just giving out first team places till he finds one that sticks. What happened to giving benefit of the doubt to the old players like last season? There's no reason why Gradel didn't start.

      Personally I want to see Francis sit out for a few games as I think Smith is better. I'm just surprised that Eddie chose him as captain... And that way we can fit a professional CB in. But that'll never happen either.

      It's just frustrating seeing some great players on the bench (Afobe, Gradel) and not knowing why they've not been given the chance to start. I know C Wilson was a gem for us but this is a new season. Maybe he needs some more time to prove himself.