GW8 – Wolves (h) – Lost 1-0
GW9 – Everton (a) – Lost 2-0
GW10 – Arsenal (h) – Drew 2-2
Another disappointing month for Palace, collecting just the one point from the nine on offer, and that coming in the game out of the three many would have expected to get nothing from. There were some encouraging points during the month of October. The main ones being the return of Connor Wickham to the first team squad after being out for nearly two years (even if it was for a needless few minutes at the end of the Everton game) and of course the upturn in performance for the game against Arsenal. The first half in gameweek 10 against the Gunners was probably the best half of football Palace have played this season, playing on the front foot, and even at times looking more like Arsenal with the one-touch passing. Unfortunately, that was only one half out of six, and although we didn’t look abject in any of the games, we certainly did not look like the better team until we were the underdogs, a role we fulfil better than favourites.
Total Combined Points – October (Season)
Keepers – 4 (41)
Defence – 18 (149)
Midfield – 37 (102)
Forwards – 15 (67)
Total – 74 (359)
Top FPL Points Scorers of the Month
Luka Milivojević – 16
Wilfried Zaha – 9
Cheikhou Kouyaté – 7
Andros Townsend – 6
James McArthur – 5
Player of the Month
Much like Wan-Bissaka before him, it’s been a pretty rollercoaster month for Luka. It started with a low of missing a crucial penalty at Everton, one that with the score at 0-0, could have changed the game and meant a positive result for Palace. However, the captain showed some true Serbian steel against Arsenal, to step up for not just another one, but another two penalties. With the opportunity to take the lead against the North London side, and in the process finally score Palace’s first home goal of the season, he consummately slotted the ball right in the bottom corner. After Arsenal came back into the game, and indeed too the lead, he had another chance from the spot, this time standing in front of the Holmesdale Stand with the chance to grab a late point. There was no stopping him this time, as he slammed the ball into the same corner and raced off to celebrate with the Palace fans. He showed strength of character to bounce back from disappointment, which only endears him more to the Selhurst faithful.
Fixtures in October
GW11 – Chelsea (a)
GW12 – Tottenham (h)
GW13 – Manchester United (a)
Players to Watch Out for in October
For a player that is only 20-years-old, with just 18 professional appearances under his belt, Wan-Bissaka never looks overawed no matter the opposition. He excelled again at home to Arsenal, sitting atop of charts for dribbles, interceptions, and tackles, all things that look very nice to the bonus points system. If Palace are to get anything from the next three fixtures, then Aaron will be a huge part of that, and that will reflect in the bonus points. Palace have had three clean sheets this season, and Wan-Bissaka got top bonus points in all three of them, so if Palace battle to a clean sheet in any of the games then you know Aaron will be walking away with another nine-pointer. I’ve said before that he’s the best budget defender ever in FPL, and I still stand by it. The kid can use these games, to show just how special he truly is.
The Penalty Partners: Luka Milivojević & Wilfried Zaha
A partnership that proved dividends for Palace last season, with the combination of Zaha’s mazy runs into the box resulting in a number of penalties, and Milivojević’s ability to convert a penalty with ruthless efficiency. Well, relative efficiency anyway. Although he missed the one against Everton, one of only two he has missed for the Eagles, he could find more opportunity to score from the penalty spot against the bigger clubs. Whereas teams in and around the same position as Palace tend to defend deep and are difficult to break down as they constrict the opportunities for counter attacks, the so called ‘bigger’ teams like to push forward a lot more. As was shown in the Arsenal game, this left spaces in behind the full-backs especially, which gave Zaha plenty of chances to run in to the opposition box with real intent, drawing fouls from the defenders as they attempt, and fail, to nick the ball off him.
I said numerous times in the run up to these games, that Palace will struggle and there will be no FPL options. I stand by that, and Palace will have to raise their game even higher to come out the back of November with some points, but maybe more importantly, confidence that can be carried forward in to a busy Christmas period. The Arsenal performance looks promising, but it will be a question of whether it can be sustained or not, hopefully it’s the former.
D+ – A poor month that ended on a high with the draw against Arsenal. However, the points are not picking up, especially against the sides around Palace. Not expecting many points in November, but hopefully the performance level from the Arsenal came can be maintained, and then you never know what can happen.