James Tomkins was one of few positives to be taken from Crystal Palace’s 2-0 defeat to Tottenham on Wednesday night, with Luka Milivojevic having an evening to forget and Roy Hodgson making a mockery of himself with his post-match comments.
The former West Ham defender kept Spurs at bay for the entire first half – albeit with some help from Vicente Guaita – completing 11 clearances and 3 interceptions in total, although eventually his efforts were in vain.
Hodgson might have missed the mark with his baffling words post-match but the praise he heaped on Tomkins prior to the trip to Newcastle this weekend was spot on:
RH on Tomkins: He's been excellent. He was fantastic the other night in a tough game for us. He handled it brilliantly. We have been lucky to have Tomkins and Sakho as our centre backs . He is taking on the role as the senior figure. pic.twitter.com/lIajB6rBso
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) April 5, 2019
The 30-year-old has led the backline capably in Mamadou Sakho’s absence through injury but will be relishing the return of his centre-back partner – the duo are one of the best pairings outside the top six, if not the best.
A Crystal Palace fan shares his most gutting moment of the last 10 years supporting the Eagles in the video below…
Tomkins will be crucial again this weekend with Salomon Rondon posing a huge threat up front for the Magpies – they will undoubtedly look to find him in the box with a cross wherever possible but, if he can reproduce the excellent job he did on Harry Kane last time out, then Tomkins will deal just fine with the towering Venezuelan.