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General Palace Discussion General Palace talk - please keep transfer talk in the transfer forum.

View Poll Results: Man of the Match v Stoke (H)
Hennessey 7 1.38%
Ward 1 0.20%
Schlupp 12 2.36%
Sakho 32 6.29%
Tomkins 234 45.97%
Milivojevic 26 5.11%
Cabaye 143 28.09%
Loftus-Cheek 18 3.54%
McArthur * 1 0.20%
Townsend 5 0.98%
Zaha 28 5.50%
* Benteke 2 0.39%
Voters: 509. You may not vote on this poll

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  #201  
Old 26-11-2017, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Martin H View Post
Phew. I thought the last minute goal was likely to come against us than for us and so when it went in I was so relieved. Ecstatic TBH. When the ball came to Cabaye and he got in a great shot only for it to hammer against the post for a split second I thought, no, not again but.......... and even then I was expecting a flag for some dumb offence. A point would have sapped even more faith from 'us' and a loss would have felt to many like 'game over'. Brilliant result but not our best performance.

The game was frustrating and yet fascinating. Their 3421 vs our 442 without conventional striker or target man was intriguing. As well as that shape had worked last week, it struggled yesterday. Before the match I had expected us to exploit the gap behind the WBs and especially on their right with Wilf pulling into the channel on the left side and Andros on the right. Instead Wilf seemed very static and we all but avoided that left side. If you look at the whoscored 'heatmaps' it shows up clearly that we favoured the right side. Odd when you consider that both of our goals came from crosses from the left. The CBs negated WZ and AT by hitting them very early when receiving the ball. Neither adapted to that and as a result were starved of the ball and they just came back at us. The more I watched the less I understood Wilf's game/instructions. It was a bit like he was trying to emulate Benteke's positioning/movement. Very little movement. So we saw flashes but we didn't exploit the spaces or his ability. Andros always struggles to take the ball played into his feet and turn and it was no different yesterday but he works and presses and when facing their goal with space in front of him he is a threat. At least he crosses it. The defence was 'OK', the midfield was half firing but Luka too often gave the ball away unpressured. The result was a spluttering/stuttering performance. Who cares, we won!

Hennessey - 6 - not a lot to do which is how it has been lately. Made a couple of saves that you would expect and got distance with his kicking although mostly playing it out to defenders who shuffled it around until it got to Cabaye.

Ward - 5 - OK but nothing special. His crossing is so hit and miss.

Tomkins - 7 - good return from Tonka who also hit his man very early, following him up the pitch which worked well. Not quite as composed as Scott but compensates with pace and aggression. A good partner for Sakho.

Sakho - 6.5 - could have been an 8 or a 4 at times. Odd performance littered with errors that he got away with but clinched with such an important goal.

Schlupp - 6.5 - another quietly effective performance at LB. He is playing a restrained sort of game but it is making him more effective. If he could just add some good shots instead of the ball leaving the stadium and a few crosses he could secure this spot.

Loftus-Cheek - 6.5 - a mature performance yesterday, doing the right things at the right time in the right spaces. So not setting the world alight but a good job for the team. Took his goal well. Would still like to see him playing just behind Benteke at some point but plenty of time.

Cabaye - 7.5 - just edged it from Tonka with his 'assist' off the 'post'. pulling all the strings in the middle with and without the ball. You can see him adding lifting and calming the tempo and the player that pushes the ball into those danger areas. The movement in front of him has to improve though.

Luka - 6 - given the benefit of the doubt here as at times he gave the ball away with very sloppy passing, without pressure. He does seem to me morphing into Jedi at times but without the heading ability. Swear he has lost a yard of pace this year? His marking at set pieces is also woeful. Despite all of this he has a good partnership with Cabaye due to complementary styles. If he can't find his best form I can see us looking for other options in the summer. Harsh but fair I hope.

Macca - 6 - did OK and unlucky to get the short straw at HT.

Townsend - 6 - struggles playing with his back to goal but brings the energy and only decent open play crosses to our attack currently. Needs to get into shooting positions and add goals. Can't see that happening until he is facing the right way. Would swap him with Loftus Cheek, giving the latter the roaming role. Both would play better I think.

Zaha - 6 - not getting enough from Wilf lately. I don't mean he is lazy. I mean that we aren't getting him into the games and spaces often enough in last 2 games. A big part of that is Wilf's lack of movement and positioning. So we see flashes of his genius but he isn't causing the chaos we know he can bring. It was screaming for him to run into the space on the left yesterday but instead he was trotting next to his CB.

Benteke - 5.5 - changed the nature of the game with some movement and challenges in the air but far from his best. No surprise that he is low on confidence but needs to show up with some goals or he could well stay on the bench as a super sub.

I still think Roy has a problem picking all of his best players and getting the most out of them in his rigid 442 shape. There is no question that we are playing with increasing confidence and starting to control long periods of games instead of responding to the punches for 90 mins but he has the Benteke dilemma.
There's a lot to pick over from that performance and I agree with nearly every word you have written. A great report as always. Zaha needs to move wide as well as being up front. If he has got a free role he should be able to pull into that inside left position. He hurts all teams from that position: his goal vs Chelsea, vs West Ham and the winner yesterday came from him skinning his man and chipping it to the back stick for Cabaye. When I say I want him playing through the middle, I don't mean just standing and occupying a couple of centre halves waiting for a cross: he's not that kind of player. What I mean is I want him to not have the defensive responsibility; to be able to make runs all across the back 3/4 defending on who we are playing against. When it's played long to Benteke I want him close by. When we play through midfield I'd like him pulling wide to receive it, and when we are away from home I want him on the shoulder, like he was when we were away to Tottenham and he should have done better after rounding the keeper. However I'm not going to criticise him too much because he hasn't had a chance to link properly with Benteke yet and as MOTD pointed out he has formed a decent understanding with RLC.

As for Ward, it's time for us to put TFM in his place. TFM could have got across to Shaqiri for their goal imho, but Ward didn't have the pace. And he is much more comfortable on the ball. I haven't seen his crossing but even if it is atrocious it can't be worse than Ward's! If you look at the top teams they have full backs who are able to cause damage high up the pitch as attacking threats. We have at least 2 left backs who can do that. And we have one right back who can carry the ball.

Finally, Luka Milivojevic. He's decent defensively and reads the game well. But his passing is only just acceptable, he's not good enough in the air for his height and he is painfully slow for the Premier League. He's overrated as an individual - it's just we needed a player of his ilk back in January as we were crying out for a proper defensive mid. I'd love to see us sign Wilshere to play with Cabaye in January, but failing that there could be a real argument for playing RLC in centre mid with Cabaye. He's the next one out of the XI once Ward has been jettisoned.

Roy Hodgson has done a tremendous job so far. We look organised, and performances have improved. He understands his players. But there is no shortage of talent in our side. We are still a work in progress, there is a lot more to come. I must admit that I was getting slightly worried about relegation until the injury time winner, but there is just no way we are going down unless we suffer multiple injuries to our star players. We are going to continue improving. I hope we can win 3 of the next 4. That would take us out of the relegation zone, and help us when trying to acquire quality players in the January transfer window. Like you, I'd like to see us go for Walcott. Plus a centre mid like Wilshere. I think signing a keeper or a winger will have to wait, but there are good times ahead. I'm already hoping Hodgson will be here next season.
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  #202  
Old 26-11-2017, 05:35 PM
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The very last thing we need is to waste money on a couple of vertically-challenged, injury-prone, gutless, Arsenal cast-offs on high wages.
RH has said we are not interested in the Shisha-boy, perhaps you missed that ?
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  #203  
Old 26-11-2017, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Thefunkymonk View Post
No he wasnít.. but since then all his best bits have been from wide. Heís the best winger in the league imo.. thatís where he should be
From out wide on the left, whether playing up top or left wing. He has to play in that inside left channel, with no defensive responsibilities, and the freedom to take up central positions when/if desirable.
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  #204  
Old 26-11-2017, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Gardiner View Post
IMHO 3-4-3 would be best but then that did for Frank, didn't it
I disagree. 3-5-1-1 would be best for this group of players. FdB was on to something but the players didn't respond to his methods.
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  #205  
Old 26-11-2017, 05:47 PM
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Can't believe Wilf is getting bad scores. Our ONLY attacker who carried a threat, and scared the shit out of their defenders.. I thought a decent performance other than Sakho who was dire other than the goal, and Townsend who is a total waste of space. Runs like hell, into countless blind alleys then turns and loses the ball. Zero end product.
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  #206  
Old 26-11-2017, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by brighton_eagle View Post
I very much like the fact Roy has made some tough decisions. He dropped Punch, he dropped Wayne, and more he dropped Jules and Scott. He's got the players thinking they aren't untouchable and that they have to fight for their places.
Absolutely. And he knows his best XI I'm sure.
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  #207  
Old 26-11-2017, 06:09 PM
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I think signing a keeper or a winger will have to wait
Are you having a laugh ?? Seriously ?? The main reason we are in trouble is because we haven't even got a half decent keeper.
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  #208  
Old 26-11-2017, 06:15 PM
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Tough game, Stoke set up well and Wilf and Townsend struggled to find space so a lot of our attacks fizzled out. Kept going though and finally got some luck.

I always enjoy our home games against the big teams, as we put in a lot of effort but we have struggled against the majority of the smaller teams ever since we got back in the Prem (there are some exceptions) but over the last three home games I have enjoyed watching CP play so well done RH.
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Old 26-11-2017, 06:16 PM
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  #210  
Old 26-11-2017, 06:40 PM
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Can people please spell Tomkins correctly? Yesterday was too much fun, I'm ready to go back to moaning.

I won't do ratings, but will agree with those saying Zaha is at his best when he's standing players up and committing them. I think playing with his back to goal, although a necessity during the injury crisis, does see him go through quiet spells in games. I'm not saying he has to have chalk on his boots the whole game, in fact, I'd like to see him get close to Benteke like we saw under Allardyce.
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  #211  
Old 26-11-2017, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by sydnsteve View Post
Can't believe Wilf is getting bad scores. Our ONLY attacker who carried a threat, and scared the shit out of their defenders.. I thought a decent performance other than Sakho who was dire other than the goal, and Townsend who is a total waste of space. Runs like hell, into countless blind alleys then turns and loses the ball. Zero end product.
What about our first goal?
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  #212  
Old 26-11-2017, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Maiden Eagle View Post
Are you having a laugh ?? Seriously ?? The main reason we are in trouble is because we haven't even got a half decent keeper.
I want one, but decent keepers don't normally move in Jan.
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Old 26-11-2017, 08:53 PM
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What about our first goal?
It wasn't a good cross, the Stoke defenders ****ed it up. But a valid point.
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Old 26-11-2017, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by sydnsteve View Post
Can't believe Wilf is getting bad scores. Our ONLY attacker who carried a threat, and scared the shit out of their defenders.. I thought a decent performance other than Sakho who was dire other than the goal, and Townsend who is a total waste of space. Runs like hell, into countless blind alleys then turns and loses the ball. Zero end product.
Agreed - it's incredible. Without Wilf we wouldn't have a single point. We are as close to being a one man team as I can remember - maybe Andy Johnson in the Dowie team was similar in terms of his impact. Wilf didn't have his best game but he's still a menace - and he made the winner.

Also agree with you about Townsend. I love his workrate but he always makes a mess of the chances he gets and for some reason he won't ever shoot. I'd love to see him shoot on sight more. I don't like to criticise because of his fantastic efforts but for a player who is in such an advanced position, he's ineffective.
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Old 26-11-2017, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by sydnsteve View Post
It wasn't a good cross, the Stoke defenders ****ed it up. But a valid point.
Exactly, people using that assist as proof he played ok, if you watch it again the ball was to no-one, three Stoke players missed it before Loftus-Cheek got on the end of it. Townsend was awful the whole match, as he was against Everton. He should be dropped.

I rate him but Im not sure he can play this new role, he needs to be on the wing.
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Old 26-11-2017, 10:37 PM
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Townsend isn't very good.He had a decent spell at Newcastle and has about 3 good games a season for us.He is playing because our backup on the wing/upfront/in general is woeful to put it kindly.
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Old 26-11-2017, 10:38 PM
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Can people please spell Tomkins correctly? Yesterday was too much fun, I'm ready to go back to moaning.
Grogs14 is right. Stop mispeling Tompkens, you wenkers!
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Old 26-11-2017, 10:42 PM
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Townsend isn't very good.He had a decent spell at Newcastle and has about 3 good games a season for us.He is playing because our backup on the wing/upfront/in general is woeful to put it kindly.
He was one of our best players 2nd half of last season. He would work harder than most on the field, he looks low on confidence at the moment.
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Old 26-11-2017, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MFBias View Post
Exactly, people using that assist as proof he played ok, if you watch it again the ball was to no-one, three Stoke players missed it before Loftus-Cheek got on the end of it. Townsend was awful the whole match, as he was against Everton. He should be dropped.

I rate him but Im not sure he can play this new role, he needs to be on the wing.
If that's the type of ball that he can produce "to no one," then he should continue doing it. It was a difficult ball for everyone in the box to deal with - including our own attackers. More importantly, however, it was the type of ball that Stoke's defenders - who were dominating us in the air up to this point - also had trouble dealing with, which at least gave us a chance to make something happen.

That said, it would be nice to see him do something other than "dribble dribble, cut back, tap dance, get on left foot, hoof." I'm sure every other team has scouted it thoroughly by this point.
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Old 27-11-2017, 01:12 AM
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MFBias MFBias is offline
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Originally Posted by Chas View Post
If that's the type of ball that he can produce "to no one," then he should continue doing it. It was a difficult ball for everyone in the box to deal with - including our own attackers. More importantly, however, it was the type of ball that Stoke's defenders - who were dominating us in the air up to this point - also had trouble dealing with, which at least gave us a chance to make something happen.

That said, it would be nice to see him do something other than "dribble dribble, cut back, tap dance, get on left foot, hoof." I'm sure every other team has scouted it thoroughly by this point.
9 times out 10 that ball is cleared by the first defender, then 9 times out 10 that ball is cleared by the second defender, then 9 times out 10 that ball is cleared by the third defender. It was a lucky turn of events to find Loftus-Cheek at the back post.
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