Crystal Palace have only found the net four times in their six league games this season. During the summer they brought in players such Marouance Chamakh, Cameron Jerome and Dwight Gayle in an effort to bolster the forward line. But could an answer to their problems be found in the shape of 40 year-old Kevin Phillips?
A fellow “new” face through the door during the summer, making last season’s loan permanent, Phillips certainly has a wealth of experience and has always found the net wherever he has played, including the Premier League.
Although technically a new signing, Phillips is not a newcomer and knows how the team plays as well as the individuals in it. He would therefore not have to go through the adaptation process like others.
Chamakh, Jerome and Gayle all play up top or off the striker and whilst they have good technical ability, they are all lacking in confidence. Phillips showed last season that he does not suffer from lack of confidence. When called on he made a difference and ended up averaging a goal just over every two games.
In these situations in the Premier League, when chances can be hard to come by, one can’t help but think he has the experience and talent to make a chance count if it fell to him.
The issue, due to his age, is his fitness. There is no doubting his fitness coming on as a substitute, but could he last for 60-70 minutes at full pace? Only he can say, but it may be the thing stopping him from getting a start but should not prevent him being used as a substitute.
His abilities could be instrumental to Palace’s push for survival. But could a Palace fan’s judgement be clouded by the fact he scored the penalty that took the club into the Premier League?
Potentially, but looking at it objectively his goal-scoring record speaks for itself. He has found the net at every club he has played and is the sort of the player that due to his tenacity will always create problems, and is willing to have a shot.
On the face of it, he deserves his chance based on last season, but football is not always like that. However, with Holloway a fan there should be no reason why Phillips can’t become one of the oldest goal-scorers in the Premier League.
Daniel Smith - @dmsmith1987