Alan Pardew: Crystal Palace lacked personality in Southampton defeat
Last Updated: 16/09/17 5:17pm
Crystal Palace lacked personality during their defeat to Southampton, says former manager Alan Pardew, and believes the players are low in confidence.
The Eagles became the first team in Premier League history to lose their opening five games of the season and fail to score with Saturday's 1-0 defeat, with Roy Hodgson also losing his first match in charge after replacing Frank de Boer earlier this week.
Pardew, who led the Eagles to a 15th-placed finish in the 2015-16 season, was hard pushed to find some positive words following the game and believes they will be in a relegation fight for the remainder of the season.
"For me, there was a lack of personality on the pitch today as individuals and a team. I'm struggling to find something really positive to say aside from Ruben Loftus-Cheek was terrific in the time he had on the pitch and he was their best player," he said in the Sky Sports studio.
"There were a few players I know very well out there looking a bit short on confidence. Roy has put disciplines in there and they have taken them too literally. They were too flat in the first half and too defensive minded as a group.
"They sat back too deep and Southampton had too much time and if you give players of quality time, they are going to hurt you. Southampton, I thought, had better individual players all over the pitch today.
"I think what the group need to do is try and be really honest and try and bring a personality to the team. They need a formation that suits them and Roy needs to find a formula that works for the team now to stay in the division.
"When I was here, the pressure was on me not to be involved in a relegation battle but why shouldn't they be? What gives Crystal Palace the right not to be involved in that? They are going to be involved in it all year."
Fellow pundit Jamie Redknapp echoed the thoughts of Pardew, saying Palace are suffering a crisis and will need to adapt to a new style of football quickly if they are to avoid a relegation scrap.
"There is a huge identity crisis. I look at them and think 'What sort of team are you?'," he added. "They will have been working all pre-season under De Boer being a nice, technical side, playing out from the back with expansive football.
"But the problem was when they did that, they did not buy the right personnel to play that way.
"Now, all of a sudden, they are going to have to change, and quickly, under Hodgson as he will want to play a completely different style of football.
"He'll be difficult to beat, he may go back to the formations where he was successful at Fulham and West Brom - almost like a horrible side to watch at times. I mean that in a nice way because Roy gets results when playing with teams like that.
"At the moment, those players are lacking so much confidence. There's a lack of belief with the ball and without it. At this club, they want to see energy and people getting after the ball."
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