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.