Opinion

Revitalised Hodgson Needed For End Of Season

This season for Palace has been a story of dramatic ups and downs but the aim was for the club to make continued progress with moving away from the relegation zone.

After Sam Allardyce delivered a stereotypical successful relegation battle, the Eagles moved for Dutchman Frank de Boer as the new head coach.

De Boer’s signing was supposed to represent a new era for the south London side. With a new stadium in the planning stages, the former Ajax man needed to bring about progressive, attacking football that would cement Palace as a Premier League side. Quite the opposite occurred.

Frank de Boer delivered a four-game winless run and seemed to lack any connection with Palace’s squad. The Dutchman was swiftly dismissed for his abysmal start in the Premier League. Roy Hodgson was drafted in as a safe pair of hands to move the club back up the table.

Many were disappointed as Hodgson’s last game as a manager was England’s embarrassing departure from Euro 2016 at the hands of Iceland. Despite this, Hodgson immediately reassured fans stating, “that Iceland game has gone and has no relevance to my work.” The former Palace youth player wanted a fresh start and to focus on the task at hand; saving the Eagles’ season.

Three games came and went with no success. It was not until the home game against Chelsea that Roy made his impact. Two first-half goals, one from the flourishing Wilfred Zaha, saw Palace notch their first points of the season. A hard fought 2-1 victory over the current Premier League champions marked a turning point for both Palace and Roy Hodgson’s career.

Hodgson’s focussed on traditional structured training and getting the best out of Palace’s most talented. Wins over Watford, Leicester City and Burnley allowed Palace to climb out of the drop zone. The season highlight was arguably a goalless draw against Manchester City. Palace’s incredible effort in defence and off-the-ball energy ended City’s eighteen-game winning run, a feat not managed by many other teams this season.

The work is not done for Hodgson however. The Eagles currently sit in 17th, just three points above the relegation zone and they have registered only one win in the past five Premier League games. It appears the fate of Palace this season will once again be decided in the final few games. The run in for Hodgson and his men is thankfully kind. With five games to go, Palace play Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion. These sides sit below Palace and show no signs of improvement, approaching the end of this season. While survival is not guaranteed, they are not odds-on to go down, with the Eagles currently 7/1 in the football betting with bet365. Consistent performances by Palace are necessary to stay up.

A revitalised Hodgson appears to be Palace’s secret weapon this season. Hodgson, combined with the likes of Zaha, will give Eagles fans hope in an otherwise poor season. If Hodgson delivers Palace another season in the top flight, the 70-year-old will rightly deserve to be manager next season.

 

 

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Jay Crame

Jay Crame

Jay is the founder of TEB and site editor. An avid Palace fan since the late eighties with a passion for music and far too many other sports. Presenter and producer of The Meridian Sports Show on Meridian FM.

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