Crystal Palace 3 – 2 Villa: We got what we deserved and Smith on thin ice.

Well, that was annoying.
Palace hadn’t come from being behind at half time in three years.
Trust us then to change that. Why do we bring an end to so many clubs’ bad records? It’s embarrassing.

We made a very good start to the game, but were second best for about seventy minutes of it.
That’s really not good enough against a team like Palace, who have even less to play for than us, are managed by a manager who it’s rumoured is going to be replaced and have no less than fifteen players out of contract at the end of the season.

What went wrong then?
Well, Traore was awful. Again. And as much as I really don’t want to say it, Ramsay was just anonymous. The only thing that he offers for me is that he is one of our young bright hopes and Barkley probably doesn’t have a future with us.
That makes me wonder why we didn’t play the young lad at right back instead of Elmohamady, but it’s probably a good job we didn’t, as Elmo had a torrid time, with his being doubled up on.

Contrary to other opinions I’ve seen, I don’t think we missed Mings at all. His big mouth maybe, but his almost guaranteed howler, no. Yes, the defence could have done better, but mostly Hause and Konsa did okay.

Ollie worked his socks off as per usual, although he didn’t perform to his usual level and McGinn seems back in form and scored a very good goal.

I don’t feel it was just a poor performance by the team, which sounds daft, but it was more a lack of changing things when everybody could see that something needed changing because the game was running away from us.

Smith took brought Grealish on for Traore with about twenty five minutes to go.
That one was fine. I could totally understand why, as Traore was awful.
But for me, at least he offers something of a threat and has the capability of producing a bit of magic out of nothing. As opposed to Ramsay, who offered nothing and has shown very little in all the minutes he’s had.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not writing Ramsay off and seriously want him to come good. But he didn’t perform in this game and should have gone first.

And then Smith brought Davis and Wesley on in the last few minutes.
Just what is the point in that?
Okay, Palace didn’t score until late on, but everyone could see it coming. You had to be blind to not see it and some had been predicting them to score again for over half an hour.

So why not shore things up, by putting Nakamba alongside Luiz in place of Ramsay?
Or if you don’t fancy sitting back and protecting, go for it with two up front?
With half an hour to go, I mean, instead of a few minutes.
Just change it, when the game is going against you?

It’s a criticism that has been aimed at Dean Smith for months now and I think it’s the thing that will ultimately get him the sack.
Smith seems to be far too loyal to the small group of players he trusts and it sends all the wrong signals, in that those who are trusted become complacent and those on the outside just wonder what they have to do to get into the side.

What sums things up is that we’re either seventeenth or eighteenth on form for this calendar year.
Our owners are not daft and they’ll have noticed that.

I’ve often defended Smith and will continue to do so for a while yet, as he has been good for us.
But you also have to consider how much money has been spent.
Yes, our league position looks pretty good. But our form this year has been anything but.
If we aren’t challenging early next season, I’ve no doubt Smith will be changed out.
Our owners will show him exactly what proactivity is.


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  1. Alfie Ricketts
    Alfie Ricketts May 16, 2021 at 8:26 pm .

    Another woeful result, Dean Smith’s changes have cost us todays game, we had a few injuries going into the game which was unfortunate but we should not be chucking away a lead like that. Palace are not the greatest side and we made them look like Barcelona today with the amount of time on the ball we were giving them, might be something to do with the colours! Normally, I see McGinn and Luiz making some good interceptions and rescuing the ball for Villa but I barely saw any of it today, which is why I think Nakamba should get a look in for the Spurs game. I hate to say it, but Ramsey was non-existent today, he should be assessed like all the others as he has had many Prem and Champ experience for the club now and he hasn’t done great apart from a couple of good runs and an assist in the cup forming an excellent Traore goal. We’ve chucked away top ten and it annoys us all to say Leeds are finishing above us now, but it’s happening. The only positive I can take from this season now is that I was selected for the ballot for the Villa vs Chelsea game and can’t wait to get back to Villa Park on the 23rd!

  2. SteveP1874
    SteveP1874 May 16, 2021 at 9:22 pm .

    I think we need a bit of perspective here, chaps.
    Yes, we have faded away in the 2nd half of the season but, let’s be honest, we were much higher in the table than any of us expected until Dec after the flying start we made.
    Let’s not underestimate as well the impact the Covid outbreak in Jan may have had, together with the loss of our best player for a third of the season.
    I agree it’s massively frustrating to throw away points against the likes of Burnley, West Brom and Palace, but we are a significantly improved outfit compared to last season.
    Smith has got us promoted, kept us in the PL, taken us to a League Cup final and now a mid-table PL finish. He deserves to continue in the job and, with some astute signings in the summer includinga strong defensive midfielder, a quality number 10 and a top striker, is capable of overseeing a top half finish next season.

    1. Big Fat Ron
      Big Fat Ron May 16, 2021 at 10:59 pm .

      A very rational comment that, in the cold light of day, is true.

  3. Roy Bracy
    Roy Bracy May 16, 2021 at 9:36 pm .

    What about getting the Brentford manager it’s obvious now that it was him that had the tactical knowledge when Smith was at Brentford.
    Everyone raved about Smith but is it possible we got the wrong man.
    Tonight game showed up Smith’s lack of tactical leadership. Shame I thought he was the man to bring back the good times.
    What is wrong with the villa every manager seems to come with great ideas and been good at previous clubs
    They start great and then fall into the same trap of mediocrity afraid to lose. Brentford attacked even when leading. Smith did at first but now when they score they just try to defend the lead and give up on the way they got the lead.
    Furious tonight 😡

  4. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 May 16, 2021 at 9:52 pm .

    It’s beginning to sound like a re-run of the Bruce debate! 🙂

    So Smith will last about 10 games into next season!

  5. OLL again
    OLL again May 16, 2021 at 10:38 pm .

    Who on earth bought Wesley? Who gave him a medical? I cringe every time I see him walking. I thought it was a typo for 0.3 inches when I read he has one leg 3 inches longer than the other. My Dad had a 1 inch difference, and in order to rest his hip to play tennis at weekends he wore a built up shoe during the week. Is Wesley going to make a 50 game per season centre-forward? Fat chance.

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