All the news from SE25 in the last 24 hours
Liverpool will be without the services of Lucas Leiva this Saturday, after the combative midfielder picked up his fifth booking of the season against Sunderland. Without his presence, Brendan Rogers will be forced to readjust his tactical plan, as discussed in detail here.
The options could include bringing Henderson inside and playing one of Sterling or Jordon Ibe on the flank – in what seems to the full back role in the current 3-5-2 system – or there is the option of bringing the relatively inexperienced Luis Alberto into the side with Steven Gerrard taking a lot more of the responsibility.
There is also the option of shifting Victor Moses out to the flank after taking up more of a central role in the past couple of weeks and bringing Henderson inside, with someone to play through the middle further up the park, which could also allow Alberto to come into the side.
Manager Brendan Rodgers has hinted that Joe Allen is getting close fitness wise to be available for selection, and would probably be the most natural choice to play in that role yet whenever he does play, he still looks out of place – this could be a massive selection headache for Brendan Rodgers.
The worry is for Liverpool, given that Lucas has picked up so many bookings in such a short space of time, how many more games is he going to miss this season?
He is the player that puts his foot in and breaks up the play, and as a result is the player that is most likely to commit cynical looking fouls. If he doesn’t cut down the card count, it could be a couple of more games he’d miss, and they could possibly carry more significance than on Saturday afternoon.
With rumours of a half-time falling out between Dean Moxey and Marouane Chamakhbeing given credence by the reports in one or two national papers yesterday, it seems as if Holloway may have had a job of hands diffusing a potential fight during the interval, let alone getting his thoughts on our performance across to the team, which in truth would go some way to explaining our lacklustre start to the second period.
It seems that Moxey felt aggrieved at Chamakh’s decision to fall to the floor beforeBoruc had made contact and told him as much shortly after the incident occurred. I didn’t see it at the time, but according to those who did, a minor shoving match then ensued, with the pair intent on continuing their confrontation in the dressing room once the half-time whistle had sounded.
For what it’s worth, I’m sure that scenarios such as this one take place up and down the country on a weekly basis, only to be kept firmly in-house rather than being aired out in public. Although emotions were undoubtedly running high between the two at the time, it will almost certainly have blown over by now, with my only real concern being how the press came to learn of the details surrounding their half-time row.
Since the result, Jimmy Kebe, Barry Bannan and Chamakh himself have spoken to the press about our performance, with all three sounding surprisingly buoyant about the next few games, despite our recent poor form. In all of their comments, there were regular references made to the need for us to cut individual errors out of our game, with split second lapses in concentration having cost us dearly in both of our last fixtures.
Whilst the rapid manner in which we conceded both goals at St Mary’s put a stop to any ambitions we held of returning to London with points in our back pocket, there were certainly positives to take from our first-half display, with our general shape seemingly far more structured from a defensive perspective, even though we failed to pose any serious threat to the Southampton goal.
As we begin to build towards next weekend’s game against Liverpool, it feels as if the manner of our performance will dictate the mood of our fan base to a far greater extent than the result itself. Given the Reds start to the season under the guidance ofBrendan Rogers, it would be a tad foolish to expect a team in our current form to upset the apple cart, but for most there is a basic desire to see the team fight as one, regardless of the scoreline.
Palace were left to rue the missed opportunity as they conceded twice straight after half-time, but Jedinak insists Chamakh was acting on instinct.
“I would have been buzzing if he had scored that one, I think it would have changed the game, but it wasn’t to be,” he said.
“It’s a striker’s instinct,” he added. “I can’t question what he does.
“He has seen an opportunity to go around the keeper. It didn’t work out for him, but only he can know what he was thinking at that time.
“It’s on instinct and he thought he had that opportunity. It was good that he got into that position in the first place.”
Palace have struggled in front of goal this season and have failed to find the net since their 3-1 win against Sunderland back in August.
Jedinak insists Chamakh is working hard for the team, however, and hopes the Moroccan can start adding more goals soon.
“I think he does a lot of work for us,” said Jedinak. “Even against Southampton he did a lot of work linking up, holding the ball up.
“That’s what we want from him, and obviously we want him to get goals too.
“His work is not going unnoticed. We know there’s a willingness there and I’m hoping that the goals will come for him because he’s a quality player.”
Tickets for Crystal Palace Football Club’s development fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion are now on sale.The match will take place under the floodlights at Selhurst Park on Monday 7th October, with kick-off at 7pm.Tickets for the game cost £5 for adults and £1 for under-16s and over 65s when purchased in advance.Please note that the price of an adult ticket will rise to £8 on the day of the match and only the main ticket office will open on the night.Home supporters will be seated in the Wright and Bright Lounge blocks, while travelling supporters will be able to buy tickets for Glaziers Block B.The Eagles development side lost 2-1 against Millwall the last time they played at Selhurst, back in August.
Crystal Palace academy starlet Mandela Egbo has been called up to the England Under-17 squad for their first round of European Under-17 Championship qualifiers.The full back takes his place among an 18-man squad, which will fly to Armenia for the first qualifying round later this month.John Peacock’s young Lions will take on the host nation, as well as international newcomers Gibraltar and the Republic of Ireland between 24th October and 29th October. Two of the four nations involved will then progress to the Elite Qualifying Round next spring.
Egbo will be looking to impress the gaffer and help his country qualify for the latter stages, ahead of the finals in Malta next May.England’s first game will be against Armenia on Thursday 24 October, before they play Gibraltar two days later in what will be the first international meeting between the two nations.