Is It the End of the Road for Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace?

Written by Bob Rogers
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 With Roy Hodgson’s contract set to expire at the end of this season, it’s no surprise that there is already plenty of speculation over who could take his place should neither party seek an extension.

The Athletic reported that Patrick Vieira had been sussed out as a potential replacement, which would certainly represent a major change in approach for the club.

Whatever happens between now and the end of June, Hodgson deserves the utmost respect for the job he has done at Crystal Palace. He took the position in September 2017 after Frank De Boer’s disastrous short-lived reign. But despite Palace being tipped for relegation in the Premier League betting online, Hodgson managed to turn around the team’s fortunes and ultimately led them to a comfortable 11th-placed finish.

Given the fact that Hodgson had been out of work since he oversaw England’s catastrophic exit to Iceland at Euro 2016, many wrote off his chances when he took over at Selhurst Park, with the former Fulham boss being held as a comedy figure. However, he quickly wiped the smiles off his doubters’ faces and proved that he still had plenty left to give as a coach.

Since Hodgson took the reins, Crystal Palace has been a lesson in stability, continuously finishing in the middle reaches of the Premier League table. But for many fans, that is simply not enough, and they would prefer to see the club pushing on to challenge for European places. It’s fair to say that Palace hasn’t always been the most entertaining team to watch under Hodgson, and bringing in a fresher face like Vieira could be just what the club needs to try and reach for that next level.

There is, of course, a sense that Palace fans must be careful what they wish for. While many will be keen for a greater degree of adventure within the club’s hierarchy, there are plenty of football supporters that would happily take the kind of Premier League stability that Palace has enjoyed over the last few seasons. It would be devastating if the club were to end up in a relegation scrap the year after Hodgson’s departure, and those supporters who have railed against the 73-year-old’s steady approach would be left to eat their words.

What Palace needs, assuming Hodgson does not renew his contract, is a coach who is able to maintain the club’s level of stability in the Premier League, while making small incremental improvements to the team’s way of playing. Palace has often struggled for goals under Hodgson, and it’s more than fair to say that they haven’t been the most exciting team to watch in the Premier League in recent seasons.

One of the keys to the club’s future success is keeping hold of Wilfried Zaha. The Ivory Coast international is one of the most exciting players in the league, and a major factor in attracting fans to Selhurst Park. If a team can be built around Zaha, and a system implemented which gets the best out of the winger, then a more exciting Crystal Palace would be the end product.

Hodgson has done a fine job at the club and deserves every credit for the way he has handled himself in his four years in charge at Selhurst Park. But it could well prove that Crystal Palace is about to head down a new path.

Read 1684 times Last modified on Wednesday, 21 April 2021 13:49
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Bob Rogers

Bob Rogers

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