James Tomkins has spoken to Palace’s official website ahead of Tuesday’s trip to face his old club West Ham at the London Stadium, prompting the central defender to sing the praises of Roy Hodgson for the change he’s brought about in the Eagles’ fortunes since stepping in four months ago.
Having gone seven games without a point or even a goal to our names at the start of the 2017/18 Premier League campaign much has been made of the impact Hodgson has had on the group but even so, it’s great to hear Tomkins adding his voice to the already large number of people who recognise the job Roy has done.
Whilst our most recent outing (a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal) was far from what we’ve come to expect from the players under the new regime, we definitely have reason to believe that it was a blip and nothing more heading into tomorrow night’s clash with David Moyes’ West Ham.
With Mamadou Sakho still recovering from a long-term thigh problem and Scott Dann expected to miss the rest of his season after suffering a serious ligament injury against Manchester City on New Year’s Eve, the form of Tomkins and former Liverpool man Martin Kelly has been huge for the club over the last few weeks.
Known to be a player who often suffers with niggling injury problems himself, the fact that James has been able to start regularly for us has been a real blessing, with the burden hopefully lessening on him in the next few weeks following the arrival of Polish man-mountain Jarek Jach as defensive cover.
Upon his arrival at the club, plenty of Palace fans were a tad sceptical about what Tomkins would truly bring to side but over the last 12 months, he’s proven himself to be a genuinely classy operator in the back four. Calm in possession and positionally sound at all times, I think the vast majority of the Palace faithful have grown to love him.
Ideally, he’ll come away with another 90 minutes and a clean sheet under his belt following tomorrow night’s reunion with his boyhood club.