Journalist Tom Barclay has admitted that he was surprised that Crystal Palace manager substituted Conor Gallagher in his side’s latest outing against Leicester.
Gallagher has been in fine form this season, scoring twice for the Eagles in the top-flight, but was replaced in the 71st minute with the team trailing 2-1.
What happened against Leicester?
Despite creating numerous chances in the first half, Palace were punished for their inaccurate finishing by Brendan Rodgers’ men, who took a two-goal lead into the interval thanks to strikes from Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy.
Palace pulled one back just after the hour mark through Michael Olise, and appeared to be cranking up the pressure as they went in search of an equaliser. Then, with just under 20 minutes to go, Jeffrey Schlupp came on in place of Gallagher.
The change worked wonders for Palace, as less than a minute later Schlupp headed home from close range to earn his side a point.
What did Barclay say about Gallagher being taken off?
Barclay has said that he was shocked that Gallagher was substituted given that he has been one of Palace’s best players so far this term.
However, he acknowledges that the move ultimately paid off, as Schlupp went on to produce a decisive moment in the game.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Barclay said: “I think the Schlupp sub is quite interesting. I think Olise, I believe came on for Ayew, it’s quite an obvious change when you’re chasing the game, but Gallagher came off for Schlupp and Gallagher’s been fantastic.
“So, to take him off is quite a surprise. But Jeff Schlupp fully justified, obviously scored the equaliser. He’s got a lot of talent.
“And for Vieira to make such a bold call at the time given how well Gallagher’s played, shows he knows the talent he’s got. He’s willing to make those decisions.”
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Does Vieira deserve credit for his use of substitutions vs Leicester?
Olise was the first player summoned from the bench, and he made an instant impact by scoring to get the south London club back in the contest.
It would have been easy to keep Gallagher on the pitch due to his recent form, but the 21-year-old seemed to be having a rare off-day, as WhoScored handed him an underwhelming match rating of 6.33.
Seeing that this was the case, Vieira acted quickly and turned to Schlupp. The Ghanaian forward changed the game almost immediately by netting the match-levelling goal, and he went on to have four shots in total – no one else on the pitch had more.
This kind of decision-making bodes well for Vieira and Palace, as it proves that the Frenchman is not afraid to make tough decisions if he thinks that they will benefit the team in a certain match.