Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke is adamant that Frank de Boer’s 3-4-3 system is not an excuse for the humbling loss he and his teammates endured at home to Huddersfield Town last weekend.
As the lone striker in a system which relies heavily on possession and the quality of players in wide areas, Benteke could have been forgiven for feeling a little peeved in the aftermath of Saturday’s loss but to his credit, the big man seems intent to keep on working hard to ensure that Frank de Boer’s tactical methodology eventually reaps rewards in SE25.
Aside from one bullet header that was superbly saved by Huddersfield Town’s debutante goalkeeper Jonas Lossl in the second half, Christian had relatively little service on the opening day, not that it seems to have bothered him too much. I have to admit, as soon as Frank de Boer’s arrival at Palace was officially announced, my mind turned to how he would try to use Benteke, given his preference for pressing frontmen but so far, the pair seem to singing from the same hymn sheet.
The warm feeling between them could of course be a consequence of the fact that, as things stand, Benteke’s immediate back-up is Freddie Ladapo a 24-year-old we signed from Margate in 2016, meaning that Frank has no choice but to view the Belgian as a key man but with just two weeks left in the transfer window, you’d hope the gaffer has his eye on an alternative forward, alongside a goalkeeper and a new right wing-back.
Next up, Benteke and his teammates face a trip to Anfield, the ground upon which he bagged a game-winning brace last season. For a multitude of reasons, a repeat of those heroics this time around would feel sweeter than ever.