After spending upwards of £30 million to lure Christian Benteke away from Liverpool last summer, Crystal Palace are yet to see the Belgian frontman replicate his best form in red and blue, so what can be done to change that?
Having made a name for himself as a physical force of nature when leading the line at Aston Villa a few years ago, many in SE25 had assumed that our search for a bonafide goalscorer was over when Steve Parish splashed the cash on Big Ben in August. Unfortunately, despite a record of 11 goals in 30 appearances for the Eagles so far, many remain unconvinced that the former Liverpool man is doing enough to justify his transfer fee, thanks in no small part to his fluffed chances in the closing stages of our win over Watford last weekend.
A large chunk of the frustration Palace fans are feeling in relation to the 26-year-old comes from the knowledge that he is capable of doing so much more when utilised correctly; a fact that the article attached at the top of the page goes to great lengths to pick apart piece by piece. No striker can score the sort of goals Christian did for Aston Villa by sheer fluke, he’s more than capable of hitting those heights again, we just need to find a way of coaxing it out of him by tweaking our tactical approach accordingly.
Admittedly, the last three Premier League games we’ve played have seen a startling upturn in our form but every victory has come without a goal from the man spearheading the team’s attack; whatever way you slice it, that is a trend which cannot continue for too long.
We now have another weekend off before travelling to face the seemingly unstoppable train that is Antonio Conte’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at the start of April. You would assume Benteke will have to be at the top of his game if we are to come away from the King’s Road with anything to our name that day.
Perhaps we’ll tweak our style in line with the suggestions made in the piece at the top of the page, we’ll find out soon enough.