Crystal Palace‘s midfield is an ongoing issue which ‘needs to be fixed’ after the 3-0 defeat at home to Fulham, according to journalist Matt Woosnam.
The Lowdown: Bad day for Crystal Palace
The Eagles returned to Premier League action on Boxing Day, welcoming the Cottagers to Selhurst Park, but they suffered an awful afternoon at the office.
Palace found themselves reduced to nine men after Tyrick Mitchell and James Tomkins were both sent off, and the visitors eased their way to a 3-0 win.
It was a game which once again highlighted some of the flaws in Patrick Vieira’s squad, and with the January transfer window on the horizon, new additions could be required.
The Latest: Woosnam wants midfield ‘fixed’
In a Q&A for The Athletic after the game, Woosnam pinpointed the midfield as a problem area at Palace currently, with reinforcements required in his view.
The reporter stated:
“The squad has no leadership on the pitch. That’s not entirely Vieira’s fault. The players recruited are done through the recruitment team, albeit with some input from the manager. It’s clear the midfield needs to be fixed, without that player to replace Gallagher’s or McArthur’s tenacity there’s not enough there. Sure there’s alternatives to the current preferred midfield but they’re not game changers.”
The Verdict: January signings needed
Woosnam is spot-on in his assessment, with Palace’s midfield a shadow of what it was last season when Conor Gallagher proved to be such an influential loan signing from Chelsea, posting the highest WhoScored rating at Selhurst Park and scoring eight league goals.
The statistics from this term don’t make for great reading. As per WhoScored, only three goals have come from the Eagles’ midfield, while Vieira’s side ranked 14th in the Premier League for possession and tackles made and 17th for shots taken.
It appears that there is now a dearth of genuine quality in that area and it is essential that Vieira is able to bring in at least one new midfield signing – ideally someone in the “game changers” category that Woosnam mentioned.
Failing to sign a midfielder next month could have the potential to put Palace in trouble during the second half of the season, and while they are still six points clear of the relegation zone with a game in hand, it might not take much to find themselves in a battle to avoid the drop if yesterday’s performance is repeated in the weeks ahead.
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