This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
If it wasn’t already strikingly obvious, Crystal Palace need attacking reinforcements and have done for some time.
So far this season, Roy Hodgson’s men are the second-lowest scorers in the Premier League with just ten goals scored in 12 games.
The Eagles’ other strikers include Connor Wickham, a man who seems permanently injured and scored no league goals last season. Alongside the former Sunderland man is Christian Benteke, a £27m flop who has scored just four times in his last 61 appearances across all competitions.
Wilfried Zaha is also yet to score this term, although all of the aforementioned is well-documented.
One thing that is not as well-documented, however, is this alarming statistic from the 2-0 loss to Chelsea last time out.
At Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon, Palace failed to have a single shot in the first-half of a Premier League game for the first time since March 2014, in what is a sad indicator of just how seriously the Eagles are struggling in front of goal.
“Then there was the team’s customary lack of firepower. The visitors failed to muster a single shot in the first half of a Premier League game for the first time since March 2014. Kepa Arrizabalaga would only be called upon once to make a sharp save, and that was from James McCarthy four minutes from time.”
That particular game was over five years ago – it is a common occurrence for the south Londoners to barely threaten their opponents’ goalmouth, but it is especially rare to see them be so timid that they don’t even register a shot in the first 45 minutes.
Ayew looked lost and isolated against Chelsea – he didn’t have a shot or record a key pass. Zaha was basically pocketed by 19-year-old Reece James. Andros Townsend also didn’t have a shot or record a key pass.
If Hodgson, Steve Parish and Sporting Director Dougie Freedman didn’t already feel a urgent need to bolster their side’s attacking ranks, then hopefully this damning statistic from Saturday’s game will give them the kick up the backside that they clearly need.