Journalist Tom Barclay has hailed Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur after his positive start to the season at Selhurst Park.
McArthur, who arrived in south London in 2014 when Neil Warnock was in charge, had an injury-hit campaign last term, but has re-established himself in the Palace side since Patrick Vieira replaced Roy Hodgson in the dugout over the summer.
What’s the latest news involving McArthur?
The 34-year-old missed the final 18 league games of Palace’s 2020/21 season, and some may have expected him to be eased back into action at the start of this season.
However, he has quickly cemented himself as a key player under Vieira, playing his part in impressive victories over Tottenham and Manchester City.
McArthur has even been handed the captain’s armband on several occasions, highlighting how he is a member of the Eagles’ squad that Vieira trusts completely.
What has Barclay said about McArthur?
Barclay acknowledges that McArthur is not the most eye-catching player, and he rarely pulls off a spectacular piece of skill, but he feels he is still crucial to what Vieira is trying to build at Palace.
Speaking about the 32-cap international, Barclay told GIVEMESPORT: “He won’t get the assists, he won’t score the goals, he won’t do those raking passes here and there – that highlights reel kind of player. But, there’s a reason why Vieira likes him so much, and why he’s so effective in this team.”
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Does McArthur get the credit he deserves?
When thinking about the Palace squad, McArthur is probably not the first name that springs to mind.
The south London club have a host of attacking talent, including Wilfried Zaha, Odsonne Edouard and Conor Gallagher, plus an exciting partnership appears to be building at the heart of the side’s defence between Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen.
Still, McArthur’s contribution should not be overlooked. Every team needs a player who is willing to put in the hard yards in the middle of the park, breaking up opposition attacks and protecting the back four.
McArthur performs that role brilliantly for Palace, and that is why he seems to be one of the first names on Vieira’s teamsheet.
He is unlikely to be a player that grabs many headlines, but his experience is vital for the Eagles in what has become a youthful-looking side this season. If Palace are going to push on this year and potentially finish inside the top half, McArthur looks set to play an important role in their success.
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