Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Roy Hodgson, not a football dinosaur after all

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 29 Apr 2018

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I have to admit I was not sure that Roy Hodgson would help Crystal Palace out of the relegation zone on his appointment. The Eagles had lost their first seven league games. They were rock bottom of the top-flight table.

However, even in Hodgson’s early games in charge, there signs that the Eagles fortunes were about to improve. Since then the London club has battled hard under the former England boss.

On Saturday afternoon, the Eagles recorded a 5-0 win over Leicester at Selhurst Park to move onto 38 points, just a few points short of what is considered the golden point mark of 40. It is difficult to see the Eagles now suffering relegation.

Earlier in the season, I put together a list of the Premier League bosses that seem to be able to get a job, whether they were successful in their last post or not. The likes of Alan Pardew, Sam Allardyce, David Moyes, Mark Hughes and Tony Pulis were on that list alongside the veteran Hodgson. However, I would like to withdraw Hodgson from that list.

The former Liverpool boss has done an excellent job in guiding the Eagles away from the drop zone. He deserves immense praise and I am sure Palace fans are delighted with the job he has done under the circumstances.

Horrendous injury problems

One of the main challenges that Hodgson has had to face this season is a horrendous injury list. At times he has struggled to be able to put together a starting eleven with players in the right positions.

If everybody was fully fit, Palace probably has a squad that would probably be nowhere near the bottom three. The fact that at one point Palace only had one fit centre-back illustrated the Eagle injury problems perfectly. To survive the drop after such injury problems will be a major achievement by boss Hodgson, who it turns out is not such a managerial dinosaur after all.

The return to fitness of Ivory Coast international Wilfried Zaha has been perfectly timed, as the former Manchester United star has been pivotal in the Eagles moving away from the drop zone of late. The forward missed ten league games through injury this season, which is a lot for a player who plays such a crucial part for a team such as Palace.

Palace can have a bright future next season

I am sure that Palace fans do not believe that they are yet safe from the drop. However, the Eagles are now six points clear of the drop zone and odds of 250/1 to suffer relegation this season.

The appointment of Hodgson may have been a long-term or sexy one. However, the veteran boss looks to have guided the Eagles to safety this season.

If Palace can keep hold of all their players in the summer and they can stay away from injuries then it is not unrealistic to believe they could finish in the top-half of the table next season. The disastrous tenure of former boss Frank de Boer is hopefully now behind the club. Palace fans deserve a successful team and it seems that Roy Hodgson may be the man to provide the steady pair of hands next season.

Hodgson has recovered from his England nightmare really well and is looking like a useful club boss once again. Therefore, there we have it Roy Hodgson is not the football dinosaur I thought he was after all and I am sure that the majority of Palace fans would agree with me.

Is Crystal Palace now safe from relegation?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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