- We should have had a penalty and would have won
Our “cracking bunch of lads” haven’t been getting the rub of the green lately and it got to a new low on Monday night when barely 30 seconds into the game against Sunderland the referee Phil Dowd failed to award a penalty after Fraizer Campbell was felled in the area by Santiago Vergini. More than that, it should have been a straight red card and would have set the tone for the entire 90 minutes. In short, when are referees going to be held a bit more accountable for their mistakes? This was even worse than last week’s failure to award Wilfried Zaha a penalty and helped contribute to Palace losing out on a certain three points.
- Neil Warnock hates the refs; They hate him all the same
The last two weeks have been a watershed in terms of refereeing performances relating to Palace and the buck stops with one man – manager Neil Warnock. All the times that he has publicly berated referees in the past and given the excuse that “he once went on a referee’s course, you know” have all come back to bite us in the arse at the same time. Officials are human and given the opportunity to award Warnock’s side a penalty are remembering all those times that he laid into them. Either that or how nice Ed Sheeran’s voice sounds, live.
- Mile Jedinak is exhausted
It’s been apparent this season that the captain is off his game and one huge factor is that he was the only Palace player to appear in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Granted Australia did only play three games but Jedinak is the team captain and games against teams of the calibre of Chile, Spain and the Netherlands are sure to take it out of you. This was compounded by the preseason tour to the United States that saw Jedinak turn out against Columbus Crew [51 minutes], Philadelphia Union [50 mins], and Richmond Kickers [65 mins] before playing the full 90 against Brentford and Augsburg. The system we play relies on Jedinak working tirelessly in the centre of the park due to the lack of possession and his suspension against Manchester United is a blessing in disguise in that he gets a well-earned week off.
- Brede Hangeland was never going to be good enough
Our huge Icelandic defender was again culpable for one of the goals in last night’s 3-1 defeat and has looked horribly off the pace since arriving from Fulham in the summer – a relegated team he hardly appeared for all season. He may have scored twice but the fact he keeps Adrian Mariappa out of the team, let alone Damien Delaney, beggars belief. If Warnock persists in choosing him then there’s an even higher chance that we’ll be relegated – maybe by late April.
- Lack of a set piece specialist is killing us
It was worringly evident in last night’s game that without Barry Bannan or Jason Puncheon on the pitch we are a spent force from set pieces even though we have players that are a real threat from corners or free kicks around the area. The Leicester game where we used this to devastating effect doesn’t even feel like it happened this season and Puncheon deserves his place back ahead of either Yannick Bolasie or Zaha for this reason alone.