Yesterday, a tweet involving Christian Benteke and Andros Townsend was posted from Crystal Palace’s official Twitter account.
🔁 @andros_townsend and @chrisbenteke ran it back.#CPFC | https://t.co/utMcYSDkhb pic.twitter.com/v4HIrcs2Xl— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) February 24, 2021
It showed the two Eagles star throwing it back to seasons of yesteryear, displaying six different times that Townsend has assisted Benteke with a cross.
The footage was posted after Palace TV’s Chris Grierson and Townsend were discussing the manner of Benteke’s late winner against Brighton.
It was a combination that we used to see a lot more of, but nowadays, it seems so rare to see a cross delivered into the Belgium international – or anyone for that matter.
Naturally, the tweet begged a simple question: why don’t we see this type of goal much under Roy Hodgson?
Well, if you were to take one glance at the statistics, the main thing that sticks out is that we cross the ball significantly less under the 73-year-old.
WhoScored’s Premier League statistics from the 2016/17 campaign, in which Alan Pardew held the reins before Sam Allardyce took over, show that Palace ranked joint-second for crosses per game with 23 per 90 minutes.
However, take a look at the same table for this season, and you’ll find us languishing in joint-second from bottom with just 15 crosses per game.
When you’ve got two giants in the box such as Benteke and Jean-Philippe Mateta, why are we so reluctant to cross it?
It’s no wonder that Benteke has endured a number of indifferent seasons in recent years – we signed one of the best aerial threats in Europe, but Hodgson has refused to utilise him properly.
Hopefully, this changes. Given the fact that Hodgson can often be stubborn in his approach however, we highly doubt it will.
In that respect, if a new man takes over this summer, this is something that Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman will hopefully highlight to them.