Fan View: 'Palace should be ashamed of Brighton display'

5th Dec 2018

Losing to your bitter rivals is bad enough, but watching your team put in a spineless, gutless, pathetic effort makes it 100 times worse. 

Daily Football Tips

The complexion of the match was changed by an equally abysmal refereeing decision when Kevin Friend awarded a penalty for James McArthur’s clean challenge, which saw Jose Izquierdo fall to ground. 

Naturally, Glenn Murray slotted it home.

Shane Duffy’s sending off made no difference when substitute Leon Balogun volleyed home unmarked with his first touch, and it was game over from then. Brighton did exactly what they needed to do; sit back and defend in numbers.

But what was appalling was the lack of spirit, leadership and fight from Palace’s players. There was no desire.

The incident with Wilfried Zaha glaring at a Brighton fan prior to the game was blown out of proportion, but Zaha is 26 now and still he acts tempestuously far too frequently.

Passion is exactly what you want from a player - it is clear he cares - but he needs to calm down on the pitch when he is fouled, and not commit retaliatory fouls.

He goes missing far too often in big games, but at the AMEX the moment he was given license to play wide he won a penalty. It’s almost as thought it's painfully obvious that he is wasted centrally, but Roy Hodgson is too stubborn to change it.

Indeed, Hodgson’s reluctance to change things early on is concerning, and problematic.

Alexander Sorloth has not shown anything this season, but Palace needed a focal point, and someone to play that central role to allow Zaha and Andros Townsend to play wide.

It took until the 58th minute for him to replace the abysmal Cheikhou Kouyate. When he came on, Zaha moved slightly wider and won the penalty which Luka Milivojevic duly converted.

Sorloth himself was woeful, but at least the change in shape made a difference. It is not difficult to see that Palace’s problems are due to the lack of a decent striker who can hold the ball up.

Connor Wickham would have played this role almost perfectly in theory. Christian Benteke is sorely missed despite being horrifically out of form prior to his injury.

There is speculation as to whether Hodgson may depart should West Ham beat us on Saturday, but that feels premature.

Whether it would be the right decision or not is debatable but it seems unlikely Steve Parish will opt to make a managerial change just yet.

Nobody came out of this match with any credit - how could they? It was utterly appalling on so many levels and everyone involved ought to be ashamed of their performance as individuals and as a team.

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Even if there was a desire for change, it is difficult to see who would be available to change Palace’s fortunes around. The January transfer window is an absolutely vital moment in the season.

If the right players are brought in then things may improve, but the club must consider the long term as well as the immediate future.

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