Following Saturday’s much needed victory over the fellow relegation battlers Middlesborough, guest writer to HLTCO Ben Mountain gives his perspective on the full-time bust-up between Andros Townsend and Christian Benteke.
Whether or not you saw the apparent fracas doesn’t really matter, I suppose. From my personal perspective, the sensation of claiming three points in front of a vocal and joyous home crowd blurred any potentially sour memories from the afternoon. Including this little skirmish.
Climbing out of the relegation zone, keeping a clean sheet and seeing several top-class performances from Palace’s (sort of) new boys; Patrick Van Aanholt, Mamadou Sakho and Luka Milivojević, all made it an afternoon to enjoy for myself and almost everyone else inside Selhurst Park.
Everyone excluding big Chris, that is.
Quite why Benteke saw the bust-up as necessary or appropriate in the dying seconds of a momentous victory is up for debate. Whilst he was obviously frustrated by Andros failing to play him in with the goal at his mercy; it’s a tad disappointing to note that the big man couldn’t swallow his pride and check himself from blowing a fuse in Townsend’s direction, given the tireless work-rate of the former Newcastle man over the course of 90 minutes.
Had he shown the same level of aggression a little earlier on, we could have won that game by in more comfortable fashion, regardless of Andros’ misfired shot; don’t forget that wasted header early on. Not to mention Bobby Madley’s god awful penalty decision in the closing stages. But that’s for another day.
Perhaps the most disappointing part of all of this, is Benteke’s subsequent refusal to celebrate the win after the final whistle. He sadly choose to be the only Palace player who left the pitch early. After such a highly pressurised game, you’d think that he could have at least lingered long enough to thank the fans, however briefly it may have been.
Whilst he may not have had the best of days individually, he certainly has made an impact recently in SE25 and I think the fans respect him for that. Furthermore, it’s Andros Townsend. Come on; the fella takes on shots at goal when even the merest glimmer of the net presents itself. What did Benteke expect?
Anyway, let’s take the positive approach to all of this. There is logic to the claim that Benteke was just being passionate, such is his desire to win. Hopefully the little tussle demonstrates the man’s desperation to push us over the line more than anything else.
At least, that’s the approach Big Sam has taken, stating: “It’s very good [the bust up], because he loves scoring goals.”
It shouldn’t surprise anyone to see that BFS enjoyed seeing that level of passion from his players after weeks of doubts over their commitment to the collective cause and if he can condone it, surely we can too?
Having said that, it might pay for Christian to listen to the Palace faithful next time, “Every little thing is gonna be alright!” Save it for the opposition net – not your own teammates – especially with Chelsea on the horizon.
Regardless of this minor bump in the road, I love the big Belgian. If it keeps him scoring, who cares?
Up the Palace.
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