In the 66th minute of Crystal Palace’s 2-0 defeat to Newcastle, Roy Hodgson made a clever decision.
The ex-England boss decided to bring Christian Benteke onto the field in place of Jordan Ayew, which was a smart move seeing as the Ghanaian was being dominated aerially by the Magpies.
However, Hodgson’s shrewd substitution was then completely nullified by his decision to remove Andros Townsend from the pitch just seconds later in the 67th minute.
Here’s the question: why would you remove arguably your best, and most regular, crosser of the ball, having just subbed on your best aerial presence?
The stats back that notion up. WhoScored shows that Townsend crosses far more than any other Crystal Palace player this season.
The England international record 2.3 crosses per game in the Premier League this term, whereas the next player on that list is Patrick van Aanholt with just 0.8.
We all know how effective Benteke is in the air, but after he was introduced, he had barely any aerial service.
His powerful header, which was saved well by Karl Darlow, was the only evidence of his specialities being utilised.
Even more baffling is the fact that Hodgson replaced Townsend with Jairo Riedewald, a centre-midfielder.
The Dutchman is a fantastic player, don’t get us wrong, but he isn’t a forward nor a wide-man, so that substitution only took some of Benteke’s attacking assistance away.
It really was a strange move all round from the under-fire Eagles boss.