By Simon Mills
It feels like it’s becoming a regular occurrence having to write about another week of frustration. Our poor form continued with our worst result since we returned to the Premier League as the visit to Man City saw us suffer a 4-0 defeat at the Etihad.
Reading the views of supporters during and after the game, there is the usual doom and gloom that inevitably surrounds a defeat – especially after a dismal set of results. Some have labelled it as ‘embarrassing’, while I agree it was far from pretty, I feel we may need another splash in water in the face and a reality check.
This is a Man City team (regardless of who was or wasn’t starting) capable of scoring freely against any team in this division – ask United just the other year after their 6-1 demolition. In our weakened state, low on confidence and a slight degree of luck a 4-0 reverse away to on the chief contenders for this year’s Premier League crown is ultimately far from embarrassing, disappointing maybe but not embarrassing.
I briefly mentioned Wayne Hennessey’s mistake in the Villa game and naturally, with another poor error for City’s first, the question has been raised over our number one again. Alan Pardew was certainly asked it and his answer will have Wayne looking nervously over his shoulder, with the suggestion that it would take an exceptional week of training to prove he should keep his spot. Wayne has produced some top quality performances this season and earned us a number of points; unfortunately he has undone some of that good work and ultimately cost us recently.
Personally, I feel we should stick with our Welsh international, you can’t keep chopping and changing goalkeepers. You need a bit of consistency in that position, if you made a change every time a player made a mistake you would run out of players before the end of the year! I would like us to show some faith, give him a chance to make amends and retain a defence that still has one of the better records in this division.
The biggest question mark should remain, as most of our fans have continued to focus, on acquiring a striker. The City game was our fifth consecutive league game without a goal and while it is easy to point to Yannick Bolasie’s absence as a reason, the fact remains that one player missing should not have such an impact and our goal scoring record before his injury was far from perfect anyway!
So, who should we sign that is affordable, effective and importantly realistic? Covering each of those criteria should be easy shouldn’t it! Right…
My first suggestion is unlikely to be popular; our fans certainly don’t give him an easy time when he comes to Selhurst. He does, for me, tick all the boxes that I have already mentioned; he has experience and has successfully played that lone striker role, he scores goals and with Southampton having signed Charlie Austin (a player I liked) they ‘may’ be willing to listen to offers for Shane Long.
A player, who I suspect most would love to see at Palace, even if it is on a short-term basis, would be Stevan Jovetic. There are suggestions that Inter Milan are looking to come to an agreement with Man City for the Serbian to move on loan elsewhere and he would absolutely perfect for our system. Admittedly, even if a deal could be thrashed out the big question here would be if it would be realistic – for City to agree or Jovetic himself.
Finally and perhaps a surprise for many is my player of choice, one we have been linked with in the press in the last week. Emmanuel Adebayor would be well worth the gamble, someone who has always scored goals wherever he has been and played for some of the biggest clubs in Europe. There are concerns over his fitness, but if he can prove that to Pardew and Palace, then I would be more than happy to welcome him to Selhurst Park.
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