Monday, March 12, 2007

Ho hum

Just two defeats in 14 and yet there’s so little to feel inspired about in this Palace team. The statisics suggest that it’s a side that’s progressing, it has clearly become a side that is hard to beat and that can comfortably overcome many of the weaker teams in this league, and by golly there are some really weak teams, not least Leicester City.

But the mood all around remains a mixture of weary resignation and confusion about whether we are genuinely moving forward. Although there’s still just an outside chance of making the play-offs, this is unlikely, we’re running out of games and cannot afford any slip up while the clubs ahead of us still have a significant points advantage. And on top of this, we simply don’t look like a top team, we don’t play like one, we don’t appear to possess any real quality.

What is it with Palace at the moment? Once again we’re left thinking that ‘a win is a win’ and once again we made our way home without having been particularly entertained. Even Peter Taylor’s programme notes, week in week out, seem to repeat the mantra ‘we didn’t play as well as we are capable’. We never do. The football is just plain boring and Ben Watson’s well taken penalty put a gloss on a result that otherwise was little more than functional – and that was one oof our bettter performances.

As for the opposition… how in the name of something or other, were Leicester unbeaten in six matches? They were complete rubbish and couldn't do the basics, an entire team without a first touch and how many times did they just gormlessly put the ball out of play? I said to my mate they must spend training sessions practising apologising to each other.

Although Leicester made our plodding ordinariness look positively Brazilian at times, we still didn’t take the game to them and for a long period in the second half we seemed content to sit back and settle for what we had which, given that they were ripe for a hammering, was grimly uninspiring.

Decent-ish games were had by all, but nothing outstanding. And nobody did anything beyond the merely acceptable, no-one in this team ever produces smehting with verve or imagination, nothing that sets the pulses racing. There isn’t a player to heighten the anticipation when he gets the ball. This is conservative football (with a small ‘c’), it’s functional, relatively effective and tedious. Dress it up in any way you want – we won, we’re getting better, we’re hard to beat. We get results, and for some people only winning matters, but we’re pretty much unwatchable at the moment.

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