Is It Time To Stick Or Twist With Roy Hodgson?

While although Palace can take some joy from finishing the season with a draw at home to Spurs, it only papers over some rather sizeable cracks and cracks that have appeared after seven straight defeats.

A run of results that suggested that Palace were already on the beach and such was the level of performance during that string of matches, you would not be surprised if the players adopted Hawaiian shirts as part of their matchday apparel.

Admittedly the Eagles had earned the right not to soar and with the threat of relegation to the Championship long since removed, a more pedestrian offering was always going to be on the end of season agenda.

At the same time though, is there a sense that the rot has set in and even with a final day flourish of sorts, there is a highly pertinent question that needs to be asked and one that involves manager Roy Hodgson.

Without being ageist in any shape or form, we cannot dance around the fact that Hodgson is the Premier League’s senior steward and at the age of 72, some form of transition is going to have to soon be made.

Which is why Palace find themselves at a fork in the road and the decision regarding the direction of travel could prove to be the most important that the club has made in the past few years, arguably since the arrival of Hodgson himself.

Turn off in one direction and the club goes again with the current status quo and with such a short turnover between one season and the next, it might prove to be the saving grace required for the former England manager.

While turning off in the other, would see Steve Parish roll the dice and bring that transitional period in much sooner than planned, a transition that could see him plump for fellow Premier League manager Sean Dyche.

Much has been made of Dyche’s work at Burnley and with the rumours regarding rows with the Clarets’ chairman getting ever louder, there is a sense that clubs such as Palace, may need to strike while the iron is hot.

If Dyche does call time on his Turf Moor stint, it could prove to be the perfect capture for the South London outfit and when you consider that Palace’s odds to win next season’s Premier League are as high as 1000/1, they are going to need all the assistance they can get.

Of course, even the most ardent Palace fan will believe a bet on title success is a step too far and it would make far more sense to keep your money in your pocket. However, those odds will also indicate something far more alarming.

If a club is priced that much of an outsider, it stands to reason that they will also be one of the candidates to drop and before the likes of West Brom and Leeds are added to the market, odds as large as Palace’s, indicates there is not a lot of bookmaker confidence.

While if there is not a lot of bookmaker confidence regarding Premier League prizes, the inverse will be applied in terms of suffering demotion and it is here, where the Selhurst Park outfit will offer far greater value.

Value that may only be increased if talisman Wilfried Zaha calls time on his second stint with the club and with the Ivorian’s displeasure seemingly getting louder, we are back to another window of tense transfer gossip.

Gossip that may only be quelled by the fact that there is not an obvious suitor for his talents, and you have to ask where would he fit in a top-six outfit or are Everton prepared to spend money on another wide player.

A lack of transfer options could prove to be a saving grace, but there is a sense of resignation around his departure and if there is a new man at the helm, the job in hand for next season soon becomes a lot tougher.

Then again, it could only get tougher Roy Hodgson at the same time and with inspiration and motivation lacking in equal measures, it might just prove to be the perfect opportunity for an amicable parting of ways between club and manager.


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