Last night’s game was an absolutely huge one for everyone associated with Crystal Palace, a fact not lost on midfield dynamo James McArthur who predictably put in an epic shift in the middle of the park.
Whilst we are far from dead and buried in the battle against the drop just yet, the management and playing staff were all well aware of the impact this week could have on our long-term chances of survival. Chief amongst those willing to put a shift in was James McArthur, who despite being relatively slight in stature has the heart of a lion.
The seconds immediately before the aforementioned tackle saw Bournemouth’s Josh King disposes James Tomkins whilst seeming to flick a stray finger or two into the centre-back’s face. The Cherries looked to be on the verge of mounting a dangerous counter-attack until out of nowhere, Jimmy came flying in from the centre of the field, slamming into King, leaving him crumpled on the floor and striding away with the ball.
Whilst the score remained locked at 0-0 following the tackle in question, the reaction amongst Palace fans was one of joy, given how little of that blood and thunder approach we’ve seen from our players since the start of the current campaign.
The challenge didn’t have to lead to a goal for the it to be memorable, the sheer desire on display from the Scotsman was appreciated by those inside the ground and watching on dodgy streams across the globe instantaneously. It’s a side to Palace’s game that I and I’m sure many others have missed desperately over the last few months.
McArthur was eventually taken off alongside Yohan Cabaye midway through the second half to be replaced by Joe Ledley and Andros Townsend but the shift the pair put in was noted by everyone when the final whistle blew. Big Sam spoke after about the importance of defending as an entire XI rather than individuals; a mantra perfectly demonstrated by Jimmy’s tackle featured above.
The man is a monster.