Why Max Meyer’s Game Is Making Such A Difference To Palace’s Play

1 Posted by - December 3, 2018 - Daily Thoughts, News

Max Meyer was given a standing ovation when coming off the pitch in the latter stages of Saturday’s 2-0 win over Burnley, having put in a performance that saw him rightly crowned Man of the Match soon after. 

The German raised eyebrows when he chose to move to Crystal Palace after seeing his contract with Schalke expire but after a patchy start to life in SE25, the 23-year-old now looks a perfect fit in the Eagles’ midfield, offering us all hope of a period of form good enough to see us moving clear of any relegation trouble. 

Last weekend’s victory over the struggling Clarets was a truly dominant display from Roy Hodgson’s men but I doubt it would have been anything like the same, had Meyer not been operating in the centre of the park. Having played there and flourished away to Manchester United in the previous round of fixtures, there was never any doubt over him keeping his place for the visit of Sean Dyche and co. with his link-up play between midfield and attack proving to be far more than the away side could cope with. 

You can tell that the likes of Zaha and Townsend trust Meyer implicitly whenever he gets the ball at his feet, creating counter-attacks that enable us to play our best football as a unit. All too often in the early weeks of the campaign, our build-up play looked ponderous and lacking in fluidity but with Max being allowed to pull the strings in the middle, Palace look an infinitely more testing prospect for the opposition. 

On paper, Saturday’s starting line-up had the feel of a standard 4-4-2 with Zaha and Townsend operating as out-and-out frontmen but in reality, the pair drift readily in and out of position, often holding the role of an inside forward after driving inside from either flank. Given defenders’ reluctance to commit fully to man marking either one, spaces appear with the likes of McArthur and Meyer exploiting them by making forward runs to support Andros and Wilf. Against sides who offer up space, it tends to work a treat, with Saturday acting as the perfect blueprint.

You don’t need me to remind you of the massive game against Brighton which is now looming large on the horizon, Hodgson and his players have the chance to make it seven points out of a possible nine in the space of just ten days. Can they do it? With Meyer in the XI, I wouldn’t write us off. 

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  • Eaglecoops December 3, 2018 - 7:49 am Reply

    What a difference a week makes. The local press from his old team couldn’t wait to slag him off and now he is making them eat their words and starting to perform the way we expected him to. He is without doubt a gifted player. Long may it continue

  • tzcar December 3, 2018 - 9:11 am Reply

    see at last we,ve found cabayes replacement.we were disjointed without that link-up magician.max has shown he,s more than capable of being a palace super-star.also lets not forget mcarthur,s contribution.he,s best performance this season by a mile.great goal from andros,just wish he,d do it more often.at last entertainment plentiful.i just wish joe hart had an off day.

  • Mike Ward December 3, 2018 - 9:14 am Reply

    The team/match day squad seem to be building in confidence which I hope we can continue to use through a busy December.

    Max is top class and I think he takes some of the pressure off players like Wilf leaving them to roam free rather than thinking they have to do everything.

    So nice to wake up on a Sunday with a smile. And Monday. Let’s hope it’s a bigger smile on Wednesday morning.

  • Gordon December 3, 2018 - 11:33 am Reply

    A series of consistently good performances – previously against clubs challenging at or near the top and this one against one struggling at the bottom. At last we’ve got the points we deserved – so relief all round. Better still, the HF are back & the atmosphere sounded great. Grounds to remain cautiously optimistic.
    Having found a midfield combination that works, I’m wondering who would drop out to accommodate a striker if and when we have one who’s fit to play. Personally, I’d be happy to continue as we are.

  • Ben December 3, 2018 - 11:54 pm Reply

    Max seems to be growing in confidence with each game he plays which is natural and to be expected. I think in his earlier games he was trying to hard to make an impression and also try and hold his place. He’s beginning to look more relaxed. Coming over from NZ and going to the Chelsea game. First game I’ve been to since emigrating back in early 90’s. Can’t wait and will be the highlight of my trip.

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