Crystal Palace Need To Add End Product To Glitz Against Stoke

Bolasie and Zaha - we mean you.
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Bolasie and Zaha - we mean you.

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Crystal Palace Need To Add End Product To Glitz Against Stoke

With Palace’s recent form exhibiting the predictability of the British weather it is nigh on impossible to know what will happen against Stoke.

Added to which, Stoke themselves blow hot and cold, beating Man City away and then losing to Burnley. One thing is for sure - there is no Tony Pulis factor this time round and that may be a bad thing, as he is clearly the sort of manager who likes to get one over his previous clubs.

Our mercurial wingers have been attracting attention recently as both Zaha and Bolasie opened their boxes of tricks against Tottenham to bamboozle the defenders.

Bolasie in particular with his 360 spin and lift, which sounds more like a weightlifting move, had people scratching their heads in astonishment as to exactly how he pulled that one off.

It’s all very well to entertain and the football world would be a duller place without such wizardry, but what we also need is the end product and that is goals and wins, neither of which we got last Saturday. Puncheon came on for the last 20 minutes and looked as though he was going to make the difference but frustratingly it all came to naught.

Stoke have their own ‘magic man’ in Bojan who has swapped the allure of Barcelona for the bright lights of the Potteries. In last week’s match against Arsenal he was on irrepressible form and he clearly needs to be closely watched and marked to stop him inflicting such damage.

Then of course there is the threat that is Peter Crouch who rarely dazzles but can be mightily effective. Our strength lies in our midfield but with Joe Ledley showing worrying signs of being Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey in disguise, with his tendency to be injured every other week, we have to find someone who can be as strong as Jedinak and McArthur.

We also need to find someone who can score goals, which, as Alan Shearer so kindly pointed out is the aim of the game. The hope is that come January we will have found someone but there is a clutch of league games before then when we need to start notching or else we could be in trouble. Gayle is the most natural finisher but seems to be off the boil. Campbell is willing but limited and Chammers does most of his best work in between both penalty boxes rather than in them. For the time being we have to rely on the midfield or maybe one of our wingers might find a party piece that ends in a goal. That would be a nice surprise.

Richard’s book The A-Z of Football Hates is the perfect stocking filler and is available in bookshops and online

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