Allardyce: Palace neglect defensive part of game

Allardyce left Palace at the end of last season

Allardyce left Palace at the end of last season

SAM ALLARDYCE says struggling teams like Crystal Palace do not spend enough time practising how to play without the ball.

Allardyce left Palace at the end of last season, having saved them from relegation with a game to spare. His successor, Frank de Boer, has tried to instal a more possession-based, free-flowing style of football at Selhurst Park, but has lost each of his three games in charge so far.

Allardyce suggests this philosophy is naive when you know your team is going to spend the majority of most games without the ball.

“For me it’s simple in terms of they are where - because of the defensive record again,” Allardyce told The Debate on Sky Sports.

“They haven’t been good enough individually and collectively to stop silly goals going. [They've been] making mistakes in the wrong areas rather than great goals being scored by the opposition.

“If you’re a struggling side, a lot of your time is going to be spent without the ball, and you have to train your team to cope with that and be defensively solid. Defensively everybody forgets today - more than ever in my lifetime - about how important it is to train your defenders and your team to defend correctly.

“It’s all this flow and open football and about what you do with the ball and very little time on saying to your team without the ball this is what we do, this is how we go about it. I know we get a lot about pressing from the front. I did pressing from the front in 1969, it’s not new is it?

“It’s not just about pressing from the front, it’s how you do it and how the players understand it. If [the opposition have the ball], we’re going to drop in. When we drop in, we’re not just going to stand there, when they come we’re going to go and press them.

“And what are we going to do when we get it? How are we going to break out?”

Palace travel to Burnley today with a record of three defeats, no goals scored and six conceded so far this season.

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