Crystal Palace will be under no illusion of the scale of the task at hand after the humiliating 7-0 defeat to Liverpool at Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon.
It was a sorry sight as Jurgen Klopp’s side put the Eagles to the sword after Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah both scored twice to leave Roy Hodgson with an awful lot of work to do.
The Eagles have conceded 25 goals in the Premier League this season, the third worst total behind newly-promoted sides Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion, and find themselves 13th in the table, level on points with Newcastle United, although Steve Bruce’s side has a game in-hand.
If that weren’t bad enough, Palace have several players who will be out of contract at the end of the season, including first-team regular starters Christian Benteke and Gary Cahill as well as Scott Dann.
With the January transfer window only a matter of days away, it’s time for Steve Parish to shift some of the deadwood, and you’d have to imagine that Max Meyer will be one of the first names on the list.
However, Hodgson must also urge the Palace chairman to cash in on former West Ham defender James Tomkins, who has made just one appearance during an injury-disrupted campaign despite earning around £50,000-per-week.
Reports in recent times revealed that West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce is keen to reunite with the 31-year-old after working with the centre-back at Selhurst Park and West Ham, and Parish could kill two birds with one stone by cutting his losses once and for all.
It sounds harsh, but the stats don’t lie, and Tomkins simply isn’t up to scratch anymore. The £3.6m-rated defensive stalwart came off the bench to replace Cheikou Kouyate in the second half to mark his first appearance of the season but he couldn’t prevent Palace from capitulating against Liverpool at Selhurst Park, although most of the damage had already been done.
Per SofaScore, he received a low rating of 6 out of ten for his efforts – despite playing just 27′ minutes of first-team football – as he failed to record a single tackle and he also managed to lose possession of the ball three times.
It’s fair to say that Tomkins has been an ever-loyal servant of the club but he has arguably entered the twilight of his career and as such, seems destined for the Selhurst Park exit.
When push comes to shove, Parish must be ruthless and push him out the door, as he’s certainly bled him dry over the past few months, that’s for sure.