Roy Hodgson’s Blindspot Over Max Meyer Is Rightly Being Called Out

1 Posted by - October 17, 2018 - Daily Thoughts, News

Palace fans everywhere have been baffled by Roy Hodgson’s reluctance to put Max Meyer in the starting XI this season and now the trend is being picked up by the wider sporting media too. 

The bad terms on which Meyer left Schalke over the summer meant that a host of clubs were reluctant to take a punt on him. Incredibly, Palace’s interest wasn’t met with scoffs from the midfielder’s representatives and late in the transfer window, Max’s move to SE25 was officially confirmed. I, along with roughly 99.89% of fellow Eagles fans assumed that the diminutive 22-year-old would be a key player in the XI as soon as he stepped foot in south London but somehow, he remains on the fringes of the side. 

Part of the difficulty in using him from week to week stems from the personnel already embedded in Hodgson’s tactical set-up. Luka Milivojevic holds the captain’s armband, thus elevating him slightly above the usual perils of a rotational place whilst James McArthur’s boundless energy has seen him become an obvious favourite of the gaffer’s during his 13 months in charge. I can easily make cases for either man to be dropped for Meyer given the starts they’ve had in 2018/19 but in truth there’s little need, given the regular selection of Jeffrey Schlupp next to them in the middle of the park. 

The former Leicester man has been given 420 minutes of Premier League football in comparison to Meyer’s 175 so far this season, with very little to show for it. In fact, Schlupp has managed just 2 key passes in that time, whilst Meyer has already chalked up 5. Other statistical measurements come down in the German’s favour too; (assists 1-0, passes 130-138, shots 5-6, passing accuracy 92%-76%) leading thousands to wonder why Roy doesn’t see him as one of first names on the team-sheet. 

Having started in the fundraising friendly against Dulwich Hamlet last Thursday, you could be forgiven for wondering where Meyer’s future lies. We now know that we’ll be without Christian Benteke for the rest of the calendar year, meaning we’ll be leaning more heavily than ever on our midfield for creativity. Keeping that in mind, Max must surely start against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday. If not, serious questions will rightly if reluctantly be asked of the boss post-match. 

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  • Rhys Jones October 17, 2018 - 7:12 am Reply

    I did wonder if the initial reluctance in playing him was related to fitness and the physical demands of the premiere league, thus a string of sub appearances and carabo cup games being used to bed him in. I think he looks tidy enough to play at the front of a midfield three. I would like to see Max in behind Zaha as the lone forward against Everton.

    I was wondering if we may play 442 and use Sorloth & Ayew at some point, possibly in some home fixtures but I doubt it will happen. I think if the reports on Zaha picking up an injury are true, this may force us into a different set up and one that may just get the most out of the players we have.

  • tzcar October 17, 2018 - 7:47 am Reply

    if rh does not change his demeanour then he,l be sacked bt u have rightly said mcarthur/schlupp,have been very poor.the tactics have been wrong.the performances have not been up to selection come the fan,s recognise this but rh can,t.this does not bode very well.and with great reluctance,unless there is a vast improvement,i can see roy, being replaced.i hope im wrong.but not just i but there is a gradual restless -ness among the fan,s.this cannot be ignored for long.i said before,and now again.these next 6 games will define roy,s future.

  • Pete Burch October 17, 2018 - 8:46 am Reply

    Yeah… Bring back Warnock. 😉

  • Gordon October 17, 2018 - 5:40 pm Reply

    I’d certainly like Max to be a regular starter. I agree with Rhys that I see him ahead of 2 defensive midfielders. Unlike Rhys I think he’s well better than “tidy”.
    I think Roy plays Schlupp on the left of midfield to allow Wilf more freedom to roam. To accommodate Max, we need to drop Schlupp and in my view Wilf will then need to play a wider role than recently.
    The GK & back 4 are settled imo – even if mistakes by Sakho & van Aanholt have cost us points in the last 2 games. I see Milivojevic & MacArthur as the defensive midfield partnership with Zaha, Meyer & Townsend as an attacking midfield with Ayew leading the attack until Wickham is fit to play (which I’m hoping might be only a week or 2 away)..
    This report about team selection is welcome & constructive. How it sparks talk of Roy being sacked is beyond me.

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