There are few positives to take from Palace’s first half of the season, James Tomkins however, is one of them.

The centre-back who came from Wes Ham two years ago has established himself as one of the first names on the team sheet.

Roy Hodgson trusts him no-end and his aggression and passion has seen him become a fan-favourite, especially after the departure of the much-loved Damien Delaney in the summer.

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He’s formed a solid foundation at the back with Mamadou Sakho which has seen them keep four clean sheets this season.

Injury ruled the 29-year-old out of action for a short spell at the beginning of the season. Of those games Palace picked up no points, a coincidence?

For those that watch Palace regularly will know that Tomkins isn’t the old-fashioned centre-back most people think of him as.

Yes, he tackles hard, puts his head where it hurts and looks a very angry player, but there’s much more to his game.

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His first touch is impeccable, he always looks to play the ball out of the back and his reading of the game is exceptional.

His command of the back-line and mentor-role he’s having with Aaron Wan-Bissaka has also been overlooked. A lot of the young full-back’s emergence as a real star should go down to the tutelage Tomkins has given.

That said, possibly his greatest attribute is his experience. Having been in dog-fights for much of his career his know-how winning the six-point games will be vital for Palace as they look to edge themselves away from the bottom three.

Tomkins has become one of the most important cogs in Hodgson’s machine.

(DISCLAIMER: This was created prior to the Brighton defeat)