Christian Benteke’s poor form in front of goal has been one of the biggest talking points for Palace fans throughout the 2017/18 Premier League campaign and thanks to the article attached here, we now have in-depth analysis into why the Belgian may be misfiring so badly.
It goes without saying that any striker, particularly one that cost a club £32 million, will be judged primarily on the goals that they score from week to week but as with everything in the world of professional football, there is a great deal more to Benteke’s recent barren run than meets the eye.
Used primarily as the team’s lone striker in a 4-5-1/4-3-3 system since August, a fair few supporters have independently remarked on how deep the Belgian has dropped in order to impact play; a shift that has seen him play a greater role in the build-up of our attacking efforts but had an obvious knock-on effect in terms of the amount of goals he’s got to his name.
There is no point in trying to hide the fact that the former Liverpool man has missed a large number of gilt-edged chances this term but after the disjointed start to the season we endured under the management of Frank de Boer, not to mention the long-term injury picked up when playing away at Manchester City, there are feasible reasons for the big man’s current lack of confidence in front of goal.
Given the huge part headed goals play in Benteke’s tally over the last few years, it’s worth noting that our style of play has shifted rather dramatically away from regular crosses into the penalty area since Roy Hodgson first took up residence in the Selhurst Park dugout back in September.
Whilst I’m keen not to rip all of the different facts and figures out of what is a superbly put together piece, the above article does mention that both of Benteke’s goals this term (headers against Leicester and West Ham) came in games where he attempted 11 and 13 crosses respectively, whereas last season’s 4-1 home win over Stoke saw us swinging a mammoth 46 balls into the box over the course of 90 minutes.
You may have already made your mind up about Benteke’s overall game but for those of you who remain curious about the reasons behind his season-long slump, I thoroughly recommend giving the above feature a read.