By Allen Cummings
How big is a big game? Seems we’ve faced so many ‘big games’ recently we’ve almost become blasé about them but in the grand scheme of things the visit of Burnley on Saturday isn’t just big – it’s massive!
The reason for that is two-fold. Obviously we need the three vital points to take us away from that quagmire. But almost as important as the league points, is that we also need a performance – a BIG performance – to help make up for that appalling display at Swansea last weekend.
Strange as it may seem, I believe we should take our inspiration for the game ahead from that Crystal Palace performance on Monday night.
Okay, they lost with virtually the last kick of the game. I can’t feel too sorry for them because it’s a result that suits our need but Roy Hodgson’s men were a credit to themselves and their club.
They took the game by the scruff of the neck and had what can only be described as ‘a right good go’. They were strong. They were brave. They were determined in every position. In the end all they lacked was luck.
Playing with two genuine strikers, they pressed and harried United all over the pitch. Everyone was up for it. Everyone was on the front foot. What they may have lacked in skill, they more than made up for with endeavour and resilience.
They rarely let United settle for a minute. The players couldn’t have done any more or given any more. Selhurst Park was a cauldron of noise as the fans responded in full blooded fashion. We need to replicate that at the London Stadium on Saturday.
Like it or loathe it, we need to put our grievances to one side. When it’s rocking as it can do, it’s as intimidating a football arena as anywhere. We need to make sure that’s how it feels for Burnley.
Man for man I don’t believe the Palace players are as good or as talented as our squad but no-one can question their heart. Whatever team or formation David Moyes decides to go with, every one of the players selected needs to replicate that Palace attitude and performance this coming Saturday. Put in a genuine, honest shift.
That’s all we have really asked of them. A shift we can all be proud of. Do that and we’ll be behind them every inch of the way. We desperately need them to show they care as much about this club as we do!