So why so long to post a report? Well, to be honest I am finding it hard to get motivated by the club at present. This has nothing to do with losing two games on the spin, but more to do with the rapid deflation of the club's achievable ambitions in this division over the summer months. My enthusiasm has ebbed in much the same way as the club's fortunes, and like the club, I trust that it is only a temporary abberation.
As many have already said, Palace deserved to win this game. They were stronger, and seemed more motivated by it. The scoreline could easily have been more, if truth be told. Living deep in the heartland of the stripey Nigel as I do, my kids will no doubt be on the end of some stick for the next few days. My argument that it is character building will no doubt fall on deaf ears, just as most of what I say to them does anyway.
So, aside from the motivation, what did Palace do that hurt? For me, it was the play of Zaha, and in particular Bolassie, who was my man of the match, that caused us the most discomfort. Even with a conventional 4-4-2 to counter them, the Palace wingers gave us a pretty torrid time of it. Solly tried gamely to deal with it, but any attacking play down the flanks was largely curtailed, and with Wiggins out for two months now, as a result of trying to contain Zaha, our weakness at present was exposed, namely the midfield.
Jackson will not like anyone for saying it, but he has been largely ineffective this season, and whilst his displeasure at being substituted was obvious, it was equally clear that something needed to change. Was our captain any more ineffective than the other three midfielders though? With funding, I believe Powell would have picked up a creative central midfielder during the close season, as on the basis of this performance, none of Hollands, Stephens, or Pritchard seemed to be able to cope with the pressure that Palace exerted on them. Hollands and Stephens were both caught in possession all to often for my liking. I don't remember much incisive passing through the centre of the park, but I do remember a lot of route one punts from Hamer looking for Kermorgant or latterly Fuller.
Whilst Wright-Phillips had a perfectly good goal chalked off for an incorrect offside decision, a draw would have been an injustice to Palace, who were quite frankly better organised and motivated. As for the two or three idiots who at the end were shouting at Powell that it wasn't good enough, and that he should "sort it 'aht", all I can say is how short can the human memory be? Two defeats and out of the woodwork they pop. They certainly didn't help alleviate my already dark mood for all things Charlton that's for sure, and I just hope that funds will permit Powell to bring in a midfelder of suitable calibre. We could all do with cheering up at present, and I suspect Powell is no different in that regard.