Another week, another defeat. And another at Selhust. Palace went down 1-0 at home to Everton to make it five league games without a win since Sam Allardyce was appointed.
The defeat saw the Eagles slip into the bottom three on a freezing cold afternoon in South London where there wasn’t much on the pitch to get Palace fans warmed up about.
But what did we learn? Here are 5 things we noticed…
Benteke still needs to do more
We said it last week and we’re saying it again. Palace’s record signing simply isn’t influencing games as much as he should (and we’re sure as much as he would like to).
Apart from being very unfortunate to hit the bar early on the big Belgian didn’t do much as as Palace’s early pressure quickly dissipated in the second half and Everton came into the match.
At times he looks uninterested and at others a frustrated figure but Allardyce needs to find a way to get the best out of him, and quick.
Shearer hates Palace
Whether he still harbours a grudge after being turns down for the Palace job a few years ago or he just doesn’t like South London, but for some reason Alan Shearer really seems to have it in for the Eagles.
Not content with hammering Allardyce’s men on Match of the Day this weekend (a regular occurrence it should be said) the legendary Newcastle striker then took to Twitter to slam the Eagles some more, including a tweet where he said they were ‘shit for large parts of the game’ which is demonstrably not true. Palace were probably the better team for most of the first half but ran out of steam and ideas after the break.
Shearer has a thing against Palace at the moment which renders any of his supposed unpartisan coverage on television completely untrustworthy.
3-5-2 could actually work
Allardyce made a big change to Palace’s tactics on Saturday; switching to a three at the back of Scott Dann, Damien Delaney and James Tomkins with Jeffrey Schlupp and Joel Ward as wing backs.
And you know what? It looked promising. Schlupp was good down the left, looking adventurous going forward (picking up an injury after one of a handful of bursting runs into the box that led to Everton’s goal, despite the ball going out of pay twice and referee Anthony Taylor having ample opportunity to stop play and allow treatment)
Logic Remy was partnered with Benteke up front and looked bright too, before being taken off for Chung Yong-lee during the second half after fading through an apparent lack of match fitness.
As with a lot of games this season Palace seemed to tire in the second half and run out of ideas and Allardyce needs to address that, whatever the formation is.
Schlupp looks promising
It was the £12m arrival’s first start for Palace and he impressed. Possessing plenty of pace the Ghana international was able to get forward to support attacks as well as cover back defensively comfortably.
Hopefully that injury sustained just before Everton’s goal isn’t too bad because the new signing looked very promising at left-wing-back.
We are in serious trouble
Palace finally dropped into the bottom three this weekend after flirting with it for the last few months. Swansea’s shock win at Anfield saw them leapfrog the Eagles before kick-off and another win left Palace in 18th spot. Defeats for Hull and Sunderland kept them below us.
But it’s worrying that already you are wishing the teams down there to lose each week and we’re only in January. Palace are firmly entrenched in a relegation battle and on current form are in serious trouble of ending this four-year stint in the Premier League.
Allardyce’s honestly at the situation is refreshing but there is a hint of ‘what more can I do?’ already coming from him? I’m not sure what it’s going to take to save Palace this season but we need to all accept this is bad. Real bad.
Updated shape of the Premier League table after today's matches. Chelsea's win keeps their advantage looking healthy: pic.twitter.com/C6ri4L7Gwe— Ben Mayhew (@experimental361) January 22, 2017