Alan Smith praises Crystal Palace’s ‘unsung hero’ James McArthur

Crystal Palace Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace have started the season in excellent form.

Palace currently sit fourth place in the Premier League table, with five wins from eight games, and former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has praised the work of ‘unsung hero’ James McArthur when talking to the Premier League website.

The former Arsenal striker said: “A player that doesn’t get many mentions at all, James McArthur, I think, is an unsung hero for Palace. He sits there, he wins tackles, he gives the simple ball and gets up and down [the pitch. He doesn’t make too many mistakes. I think he’s been really important in a fantastic start for Palace.”

McArthur does often go under the radar when discussing Palace’s great start to the season, with the excellent attacking players in Alan Pardew’s squad the stars who always get praised for good performances.

However, he is a central figure to Pardew’s side, and the Scottish international is the solid base which allows all the attacking players to go out and excel every time they take to the field.

He has played all eight Premier League games this season - starting seven of them - and ranks highly as a defensive shield in the midfield. He has the highest pass completion percentage of any Palace player with over five appearances this campaign - 87.1% - whilst he ranks inside the top three players for tackles and interceptions won per game.

Every successful team based around attacking player needs to have a solid base to build upon, and McArthur is excelling in this role for Palace, and the entire team are benefitting from his top class performances.

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