A draw against Crystal Palace does little to help our precarious position at the bottom of the Premier League. However, there are reasons to be more positive about the performance, especially defensively.
It wasn’t perfect and we struggled from crosses, but we weren’t so easy to play through. The play in possession and chance creation needs a lot of work though.
Below we rate the performances of each player.
Karl Darlow – 5 – It was an okay performance from Darlow, but he doesn’t calm the defence in the same way as Martin Dubravka. He was fortunate that we didn’t concede when he came flying out of his goal.
Javier Manquillo – 6 – The Spaniard didn’t really catch my eye during the game, which is often a good sign for a defender and suggests he didn’t do anything great or awful. We need to become better at shutting down crosses, as our centre backs struggle to deal with them.
Emil Krafth – He shouldn’t be starting Premier League matches, but he was far from the worst performer. Krafth did make one excellent tackle when Christian Benteke was through on goal and showed commitment to the cause.
Jamaal Lascelles – 5 – It was better from Lascelles in terms of his organisation and positioning. However, his ball playing ability is a huge concern. If we are to appoint a coach that wants to play with the ball, his days are numbered. He gave the ball away too much and was booked for a blatant pull back.
Ciaran Clark – 4 – Another player who shouldn’t be in the team. He looks shot of confidence and is too easily bullied by opposition strikers, as shown for Benteke’s goal. At the moment, he’s a clear weakness.
Matt Ritchie – 6 – The set up helped protect Ritchie, who has been regularly targeted this season. His set piece delivery caused issues too. It was a steady performance from the wing back, who did better than expected when Zaha came on.
Isaac Hayden – 4 – There was a period when Hayden was impressing on a weekly basis, but he looks massively short of the fitness levels required. Games are passing him by and that’s a concern when he is supposed to be protecting the back four. Our midfield is too passive and he’s a player that should be taken out of the team.
Sean Longstaff – 5 – There was more snap to Longstaff’s play than Hayden’s. He looked to be more up to the pace of the game, even if there are still concerns about his fitness. Like several others, he gave the ball away too easily on too many occasions.
Ryan Fraser – 4 – When are we going to realise that he isn’t a central player? The game completely passed him by and he couldn’t show the creativity that he possesses. If he is to start matches, he needs to be used in a wide role.
Allan Saint-Maximin – 4 – This was the Frenchman’s worst performance of the season. He didn’t carry much of a threat and he gave the ball away far too often. If he is to play in this role, he needs to be much better at retaining the ball.
Callum Wilson – 8 – He is so important to us this season. Wilson is a guarantee of goals and he saved us this afternoon. It was an incredible piece of individual quality and he caused problems with his movement all afternoon. We need to give him much service.
Miguel Almiron – 6.5 – It was an encouraging cameo from the Paraguayan. He was causing problems with his direct approach and was much better than some that started at pressing the opposition. He needs to start next week.
Joe Willock – 5 -Although he did little to catch the eye, his work rate and mobility means that he should be starting.
Joelinton – N/A – Only on for the final 10 minutes. Tried to put himself about but didn’t make much of an impact, aside from being booked for a high foot.