German international Max Meyer is yet to start a Premier League game for Crystal Palace despite impressing whenever he’s been brought off the bench, prompting the press to quiz Eagles boss Roy Hodgson about his long-term plans for the 23-year-old in the wake of our 0-0 draw with Newcastle last Saturday.
Whilst the gaffer is yet to throw the former Schalke man into a Premier League XI, he was hugely complimentary of his qualities, hinting that he has had no reason not to start him in any of the games that have taken place so far this season. Instead, it seems as though it’s a case of the club being extremely well stocked in that particular area of the field, leading to huge competition for places from week to week.
Although I am personally desperate to see Max break into the side, I do have some sympathy with Roy over his selection headaches in the centre of midfield. Having made Luka Milivojevic the club captain, it’s bordering on impossible to consider dropping him, whilst Scotsman James McArthur (fresh from signing a contract extension) has been one of our better performers in the early weeks of the campaign.
After playing well in pre-season, Jeffrey Schlupp was rewarded with a place in our midfield on the opening day against Fulham and managed to open the scoring before being replaced in the line-up by new-boy Cheikhou Kouyate for the physical test away to Huddersfield little more than a week ago. I would have liked to see Meyer given the nod but can understand the logic behind Roy’s call up at the John Smith’s Stadium, all of which leaves a question mark over the thinking for last weekend’s clash at home to Newcastle.
To the boss’ credit, he did bring Meyer on for Kouyate in the 63rd minute, an uncharacteristically early move by his standards, and saw the German pushing and probing throughout his time on the field but against a side who had obviously come to sit back and frustrate us in search of an away point, I can’t escape the feeling that we would have benefited from giving him the full 90 minutes to find a breakthrough.
There is a very good chance he’ll start tonight’s Carabao Cup tie away at West Brom but in truth, I’d love to see him thrown into the XI away at Bournemouth on Monday night instead if it’s a straight choice. Luckily, given the game’s selection for TV, our players will have five full days to recover from any fatigue they suffer this evening, which in theory means Meyer could start and play a full part in both matches.
Keep those fingers crossed.