New/old Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson says the fans will rally around them as they pursue Premier League safety.
Roy Hodgson will dearly hope they do, because everybody else is tutting disapprovingly in their direction.
In an industry of bad guys, Palace are apparently the baddest following their decision to sack Patrick Viera. Considering he was sacked based on an incredibly tough run of games it’s unfair, but no more unfair than any other managerial sacking.
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Their true crime is replacing Viera with Roy Hodgson, in a reversal of Viera’s hiring two years ago. Comfortable, solid Hodgson – how uninspired, how played out. We were promised a lovely hipstery football project led by a legendary player and now we have to go round to Granddad’s for tea.
Your granddad does know a thing or two however, and if the only objective at Selhurst Park is to avoid relegation, Hodgson can probably achieve that.
“Crystal Palace is known for its fighting spirit and I have no doubt that all our supporters will fight with us, beginning with the visit of Leicester City a week Saturday,” said Hodgson.
“It is a privilege to be asked to return to the club, which has always meant so much to me and to be given the important task of turning the team’s fortunes around. Our sole objective now is to start winning matches and to get the points necessary to ensure our Premier League status.”
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Palace could have reasonably expected not to have to make an existential decision this season. They’ve actually been in twelfth place in the league for ten weeks and weren’t feeling the pressure until recently.
However, the way the table is shaping up means half the league is fighting not to go down. Just four points separate Southampton in 20th place and Crystal Palace in 12th. Palace have yet to win a game in 2023 and their 22 goals are tied for the lowest scored in the league this season.
In that sense, you can understand the club’s concern. They’d better hope Hodgson succeeds, because if he doesn’t then they will have mortgaged a brighter future and still been relegated.