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Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace future unclear after health scare

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Feb 2024

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Roy Hodgson’s future as Crystal Palace manager remained unclear on Friday afternoon amid reports the 76-year-old was considering taking a break from the game after being in hospital for tests.

Hodgson fell ill during training on Thursday and was later described as “stable” by the Premier League club after undergoing further medical examinations.

As a consequence, Palace called off Hodgson’s scheduled pre-match press conference ahead of the upcoming match at Everton on Monday night.

The news of Hodgson’s latest health scare came alongside reports Palace were set to sack him, with former Eintracht Frankfurt boss Oliver Glasner a strong favourite to take over.

It had been suggested Hodgson was going to announce at Thursday’s press conference that he was stepping down, with further speculation emerging on Friday over the former England manager considering an indefinite break from the game.

When contacted by the PA news agency on Friday morning, Palace said there was no further update on the situation, with any news expected to come via the club’s own channels.

Friday was understood to be a scheduled rest day for the Palace squad ahead of the trip to Merseyside.

Veteran boss Hodgson received plenty of support from his Premier League colleagues, who wished him a speedy recovery.

West Ham boss David Moyes said at the club’s press conference on Friday afternoon: “I am hearing he is fine by what I have heard, so I am hoping that is the case.

“I have always said I don’t know if I want to be working at Roy’s age, that’s for sure, but he is someone who loves the game and his longevity has been incredible in football.”

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta – whose side are chasing the title and beat Palace 5-0 at the Emirates Stadium in January – understands what the pressures of the job can bring at both ends of the table.

“Hopefully he’s feeling much better and if that’s the case, knowing Roy, I think he will be in tomorrow because he loves it so much,” the Arsenal manager said.

“But yeah, we all got really worried with the situation and hopefully he is fine.”

On the stresses managers work under, Arteta added: “There is that part, but there is the part of joy and how beautiful our jobs are as well.

“A lot of times (pressure) is in relation to where you are (in the table), but it is part of the job.”

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou also hopes Hodgson will soon be on the mend, and feels whatever might be going on in the background would not diminish the 76-year-old’s standing in the game.

“It is a weird sort of occupation we have,” said the Australian, who took over at Spurs in the summer after a successful spell at Celtic.

“There are not many where people pretty much dictate or try to create a narrative where you are pretty much finished and also putting up your replacement.

“Roy is still in the position, but that is the way of the world nowadays. I guess we sign up for it, so everyone kind of expects it.

“But I don’t think it diminishes Roy’s standing in the game in any way and above all hopefully he bounces back quickly.”

Should Hodgson – in his second spell in charge of the south London club – need any extra time off following his spell in hospital, then Ray Lewington and fellow assistant Paddy McCarthy are expected to take charge for the Everton game.

Palace sit 15th in the table, five points above the relegation zone, heading into the weekend’s Premier League fixtures games.

Disgruntled Eagles fans have displayed banners in recent weeks calling for Hodgson to be sacked and venting frustration with how the club is being run.

Austrian Glasner guided Frankfurt to Europa League glory in 2022 following a penalty shoot-out victory over Rangers in Seville.

The 49-year-old, who has also managed Wolfsburg, has been out of work since leaving the Bundesliga side last summer.

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