Palace Shambles

Huddersfield Town were soundly beaten by Crystal Palace on an afternoon of heavy blizzards in West Yorkshire. In truth Town were never in the game and the visitors cruised to a routine victory in a match that was surrounded by the stench of relegation.


Here we take a look at some of the main talking points to come from the defeat, including bravery, tactics and temperament.




Bravery

I've said it before on this blog, and I'll undoubtedly say it again, but the players lacked bravery yesterday. Not in the traditional sense of hurtling into challenges - there was plenty of that - but rather bravery on and off the ball.


It was clear from the first minute that there were two vastly different teams in the contest - one determined to avoid relegation and one paralysed by the fear of it, I'll leave it to you to decide which was which.


Perhaps the players were encumbered by a lack of self-belief following their inability to break down ten-man Swansea the previous week. If they were, it showed, not a single player on the pitch was willing to take a risk to influence proceedings.


There was no movement, no attacking flair and no fluidity, in their place was a steadfast resoluteness to stick to a safety first approach which yielded no results. It wasn't until the hour mark that Town had their first notable effort on a goal - and to call it an effort on goal is incredibly kind.


The Terriers lack of bravery was rewarded with exactly what it deserved, a resounding defeat, and Wagner must right that before our next game like he did when we hammered Bournemouth 4-1.


Tactics


David Wagner has created a clear, solid identity at Huddersfield Town and it's reaped some fantastic rewards in the past couple of years. However, in recent weeks a lack of an alternative tactic has hindered the team.


Against Swansea, the team persevered with the same fruitless tactics for ninety-minutes, and failed to win the match. After ten minutes yesterday, it was clear that Palace were stifling Town and running riot down the wings, yet the tactics did not change.


There was an air of inevitability when Palace did score, and in honesty, most in the crowd probably knew the game was up at that point. Huddersfield never looked like troubling the visitors and slept-walked meekly into defeat.


Temperament


In the coming weeks the pressure on this squad is going to ramp up to unprecedented levels, and at the moment, the players don't look capable of coping with it. There was panic in the ranks yesterday, demonstrated when Jonathan Hogg played the ball out for a corner when under minimal pressure in the second-half.


The second-goal was an even better example of Town's poor temperament. With the ball in the opposition half, Huddersfield appeared under no real pressure at all, yet moments later they had conceded a penalty.


Mike Dean appeared to miss two Palace fouls in the corner, and when the visitors broke, Zanka took out his frustration by giving away a needless penalty. Decisions don't always go your way, and sometimes they're downright wrong, but as a professional you have to ignore that and continue with the game.


You cannot and should not vent your frustrations by hurtling into a reckless tackle and putting the game beyond yourself. Clear heads will be needed for the upcoming fixtures if Town are to avoid relegation.


However, that's enough on the game from me. I don't want this post to polarise people, and I don't want people to think I'm being overly-critical. I'm not discounting our previous achievements, and I'm not calling our players 'bottlers'.


I'm merely pointing out the deficiencies that plagued the team on Saturday, and I sincerely hope I won't be writing about them again for the rest of the season. Now, my next task is to write my player ratings, which could be very interesting. Keep an eye out for them, until the next time UTT.

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