Crystal Palace’s 2-0 triumph over West Brom last weekend was a remarkably cohesive tactical display from beginning to end, with the players now clearly happy to buy into Big Sam’s ideas after a month or so of undeniably patchy form.
Plenty have column inches have been dedicated to the Eagles’ slow start under the guidance of Sam Allardyce, with the former England boss having failed to lift the spirits of his new players in the opening few weeks of his tenure but now, with his own coaching staff having had time to bed in alongside him, we have seen two superb displays in back-to-back weeks, with the lads taking home all six points on offer in the process.
Having dropped Scott Dann and James McArthur from the starting line-up in favour of Mamadou Sakho and Luka Milivojevic respectively, few if any could deny that the team have looked a great deal more solid throughout for the most part.
I feel it’s important to state at this point that I personally rate both Dann and McArthur extremely highly but with the need for points now more pressing than ever, I do also feel that Allardyce deserves tremendous credit for taking the bold move of dropping both to the bench in what were vitally important games against Middlesbrough and West Brom.
Thanks in no small part to the clean sheet against Aitor Karanka’s men, the team have visibly grown in confidence and spirit over the last week, defending as a unit and counter-attacking West Brom last Saturday with the sort of enthusiasm many supporters had feared was all but lost a month or so ago. After hearing talk of making the “transition” from a defensively sound outfit to one that indulged in free-flowing attacks over the summer, we now appear to have come full circle under the new gaffer’s watchful eye and I for one am over the moon.
The graphics attached above provide tangible proof that Big Sam has transformed us back into an extremely well-drilled and disciplined group. It’s made all the more satisfying when you see the messy nature of West Brom’s shape in direct comparison. We well and truly out Pulised our old mate Tony.
I would love nothing more than to write about Crystal Palace FC for a living. If you would like to help me do that, removing adverts from this site forever in the process, please click here. I’ve already managed to raise a staggering amount of money, if you can spare anything at all towards it, I would be hugely grateful. Cheers.