Crystal Palace fell to their most embarassing defeat of the season on Tuesday night, suffering a 3-1 loss against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The horrendous performance of centre-back James Tomkins revealed the need for Palace defender Scott Dann to return to full fitness and offer competition at the back.
Tomkins’ defending at the AmEx was woeful and his high-profile mistakes led to two of the Seagulls’ goals.
Shortly after Shane Duffy was sent off, Brighton doubled their lead off a corner. Luka Milivojevic’s poor clearance found Leon Balogun, who slotted home with a first-time finish.
Yet Balogun was afforded acres of space within the penalty area, thanks to lax marking from Tomkins, who was slow to close down his man and shied away from blocking the shot.
And Tomkins’ most egregious error came five minutes later, when the defender inexplicably gifted possession back to Brighton’s Florin Andone in the box, allowing the attacker to pick his pocket and put the home side 3-0 up.
In all, James Tomkins delivered an astoundingly poor shift against Brighton, full of errors and a general lack of effort.
The poor form of Tomkins emphasised the absence of Scott Dann, a former Crystal Palace mainstay who has been out injured since December 2017.
With the return of the experienced Dann, the Eagles can hopefully avert dreadful defensive displays such as the disaster at the AmEx on Tuesday night.