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Hodgson Announcement

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View baldeagle73's Profile baldeagle73 Flag Leamington spa 18 May 21 12.46pm Send a Private Message to baldeagle73 Add baldeagle73 as a friend

Roy’s done a great job these last four years for us a true gent and very good manager let’s hope he ruins the bindipoers champions league ambitions on Sunday for his send off

 


walking down the holmesdale road to see the palace aces!

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View pstrutt's Profile pstrutt Flag Busselton, WA 18 May 21 12.46pm Send a Private Message to pstrutt Add pstrutt as a friend

Originally posted by Chubskip

Good luck Roy. Hope you have done the right thing for you and the club. I would have liked to see one more year and bring someone in. But I guess the haters have had there way. Just be careful for what you wished for....

Yes, it was clearly their decision

I supposed Sir Roy goes with his head held high having done a proper job.

We now have a a very fun off-season continuing the arguments about who is a worthy replacement.

Anyone have a flutter on RH going?

 


So I manage a Workshop which provides a safe learning environment for blokes struggling with PTSD and other mental health issues. Being a Palace fan isn't listed yet.

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View SW19 CPFC's Profile SW19 CPFC Flag Addiscombe West 18 May 21 12.47pm Send a Private Message to SW19 CPFC Add SW19 CPFC as a friend

Great article on his tenure from The Athletic

[Link]

Roy Hodgson to leave Crystal Palace – after a job done almost on the quiet

At some point on Wednesday evening, most likely as he strides down the touchline in front of the main stand before kick-off, Roy Hodgson will be given the send-off he deserves. The first Crystal Palace supporters to watch Premier League football inside Selhurst Park since mid-December will chorus his name to the rafters. They will serenade one of their own, a local lad whose nomadic career took him to posts dotted around the globe before, as the elder statesman of the English game, he came home to save the club he had watched from the terraces in his youth.

And now, with a last home game against the team he always respectfully refers to as “The Arsenal”, Palace’s longest-serving manager since Steve Coppell almost 30 years ago is bidding farewell. He will depart when his contract expires after Sunday’s trip to one of his former clubs, Liverpool, and leave as the only man to keep the club in the top division four years in succession, and comfortably at that.

Theirs has ostensibly ended up an amicable divorce, a long-anticipated split that was only formally confirmed on Tuesday morning. Plenty of his players — who had long since drawn their own conclusions given the deafening silence over talk of a contract extension — will be sorry to see him go.

Some have been surprised that he is effectively being discarded. Respect endures. A figure whose success at the club saw him made a Freeman of the Borough of Croydon, which presumably means he can drive a flock of sheep through the Wellesley Road underpass, will be missed.

James McArthur Crystal Palace
Respect endures between Hodgson and his Palace squad (Photo: Andy Rain/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
“The youngsters will appreciate what he has done for them, too,” says one agent with clients at Palace. “They will have learned under his wing. It has just been strange seeing it all peter out almost without question. There’s always been this assumption that this was going to be the end, but no one actually wanted to admit it publicly. It’s like they’ve been waiting for this moment to get cracking on the next phase.”

It is rare for a manager’s long-term deal to run down to a natural parting of the ways, with this the first time it has happened at Palace in the post-war era. Maybe there was a period when Hodgson was attracted to the idea of staying on for another season at least. After all, his enthusiasm for the game remains undiminished well into a fifth decade as a coach and everything about the last 14 months, with football exiled behind closed doors, will have felt alien even to a figure who thought he had seen everything the sport could conjure.

It might have been more fulfilling to leave after a more familiar kind of campaign. And, perhaps, to oversee a team who had benefited from significant reinforcements to the playing staff in the upcoming summer transfer window.

Not that he ever really complained. He kept his thoughts to himself. Sometimes his coaching staff, his closest associates, were oblivious to how he was thinking. His relations with those above him at the club always seemed cordial. He simply accepted his lot and was too diplomatic to kick up a fuss.

That also meant he was never going to push his employers to offer another year-long deal to follow the one signed just before lockdown began last season. If his success in keeping Palace well clear of trouble at the foot of the division was not enough to earn that extension, then he would have deduced where this was all headed.

“After more than 45 years of coaching I have decided that the time is right for me to step away from the rigours of top-flight Premier League football,” Hodgson told Palace’s website, “so our final two matches will be my last ones as manager of Crystal Palace.

“It’s been a particularly rewarding period of my football life and career to have been able to spend these last four seasons with Palace. I feel now that at the end of another successful season, in which we have secured our Premier League status, the moment is right for me to step down from my responsibilities of being a full-time manager.”

This summer represents a crossroads. Palace have a rebuild to instigate, with half their first-team squad out of contract. They are looking to recruit younger players to transform the oldest group in the Premier League. They believe there will be opportunities in the market. If they are to construct a new team that will sustain the club through the next few years, and even tweak the playing style again, perhaps there is a logic to appointing a new head coach to oversee the transition. Instigating a change of that size with a manager approaching the end of a long and illustrious career might have felt awkward. It is as if the club’s particular needs have shifted.

The feelers have already gone out over successors. Hodgson will know that much because the club’s interest in numerous candidates already feels like an open secret, and it would have been negligent of Palace not to plan, particularly with their manager of four years now 73.

Steve Cooper and Valerien Ismael, once Palace’s record signing, are currently going head-to-head in the play-offs with Swansea City and Barnsley. Sean Dyche has kept Burnley in the top flight yet again. Patrick Vieira, Chris Wilder and Frank Lampard are currently out of work and looking for routes back into the game. Paulo Fonseca will leave Roma at the end of the Serie A season. Eddie Howe was under consideration at one point, though he appears Celtic-bound.

sean dyche roy hodgson crystal palace burnley
Sean Dyche greets Roy Hodgson before kick-off at Turf Moor in November 2019 (Photo: Rich Linley/CameraSport via Getty Images)
That is a diverse group of contenders and their respective qualities will be championed by different figures within the Palace hierarchy until some kind of consensus is reached. Do they roll the dice, or is there a safe option that can be pursued?

Yet, for now, that can all wait. This is about Hodgson, a manager who can reflect on a job thoroughly well done.

Over his tenure, Palace have felt established at this level. He provided the kind of security the club had craved for years, despite the reality that he never benefited from the transfer funds that so bolstered his predecessors, Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce.

There were still times over the last four years when Palace considered a change, when results seemed to be stagnating or the style of football grated. But Hodgson would argue he was merely being pragmatic given the tools at his disposal, and that the ends — the points tally — justified the means. On each occasion, the decision-makers ultimately opted for stability.

“It has been an absolute privilege and pleasure to work alongside Roy,” said chairman Steve Parish, “who is both a magnificent human and an outstanding football manager… his record with us simply cannot be overstated.”

This is the story of Hodgson’s tenure, from the apparently hopeless position in which he took over the club, to the high points of his first two seasons and the solid if unspectacular campaigns that followed.

Everything that follows will constitute a risk, which is a testament to the job he has done almost on the quiet since one of football’s seasoned wanderers returned home.

Roy Hodgson did everything that was asked of him at Crystal Palace. His brief was not to implement an expansive, attacking style but always to keep the team in the top division and to, he said early in his tenure, “deliver total stability in the Premier League where you are not looking over your shoulder every year wondering, ‘Are we in or are we out?’.”

To that end, four successive mid-table finishes (11th, 12th, 14th and currently 13th) without even a dalliance in the bottom three since March 2018 represents a considerable achievement. The kind no previous manager at Selhurst Park can match.

If there has been frustration welling among sections of the fanbase over the last two seasons at how safety has been secured, particularly while the disconnect between supporters and team has festered with games staged behind closed doors, it is worth noting that the pandemic, with its grim implications for finances, merely intensified the need to retain Premier League status above all else. And Palace already had enough points to keep them up on the final day of February last season, with 10 games to play and even before COVID-19 put the campaign on pause for three months.

All those expected goals tables and accumulated possession stats that read so grimly this time around — and probably do point to deeper-seated issues at the club — obscure the shorter-term reality that, as with last season, Palace have long since eclipsed the 27 points upon which third-bottom Fulham have stalled. Indeed, they did so with 16 matches to go.

The oldest squad in the division, with its uncharacteristically creaking back line and its shot-shy attacking options, was almost safe by the season’s midway point.

Not that anyone should be surprised.

Those with an affinity to the club will recall, with a shudder, the mess Hodgson had inherited in the autumn of 2017. Frank de Boer had replaced Allardyce that summer with his own set ideas about team structure and approach, only for a disrupted pre-season spent at the Premier League Asia Trophy tournament in Hong Kong and an inflexibility of style adapting to the personnel at his disposal to spell disaster.

By the time the former England manager was summoned out of his post-Euro 2016 exile — since departing the Football Association, he had spent his time mentoring coaches at Australian club Melbourne City, undertaking media work in Qatar and delivering lectures at UEFA — Palace were pointless and goalless four games into the season.

Crystal Palace, Roy Hodgson
Hodgson did not panic after a difficult start to life as Palace manager (Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images)
There was no sense of panic when those runs were extended to seven matches. Not among the new managerial staff, anyway.

The first international window at the start of October allowed Hodgson, accompanied by Ray Lewington and Steven Reid, to reimpose the basics. That process of drumming home shape, structure and pattern of play, offering a foundation upon which the team’s attackers might hope to make in-roads, had begun. “We started working the way we work and didn’t hear anyone saying, ‘What the hell are we doing this for?’” Hodgson said. “In fact, it was quite the reverse. Quite a few people came up to us and said, ‘We like this. We need more of this. This is what we want from you. This is what we were hoping we’d do. Please keep it going’.”

Palace broke their scoring duck early in the first fixture after the games resumed, at home to Chelsea, and, with Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend as an unfamiliar and fluid front line, beat the reigning champions 2-1 to spark their recovery.

Hodgson commanded instant respect within a group that had been on its knees; an admiration that remained through his tenure.

“He isn’t always Mr Nice, not always charming and that polite figure he comes across as in loads of his press conferences,” one player who featured under Hodgson at Palace tells The Athletic. “There can be a real spikiness to him if he’s not happy and he feels standards have slipped, but he also has this level of knowledge that you can’t help but try and soak up. He makes tough decisions and explains the logic behind them, and, even if you didn’t agree, you end up accepting it.

“There are drills, more drills, more drills. He drums it all home on the training ground until it’s second nature.”

He never wavered from that proven approach. Maybe familiarity slightly eroded its impact over time. This group has not morphed that much over his stint in south London, and perhaps the same instructions do not provoke quite the same reaction these days in players who have heard it all before. Some of the minutiae may have been tweaked to offer some variety, but a fresh voice helps sometimes. That said, plenty of those who worked under Hodgson came to recognise the benefits of his meticulous, monotonous approach.

Eberechi Eze, signed from Queens Park Rangers last summer, was amazed at the constant drilling of team shape — every day until it became second nature — over the course of his first season in the Premier League. He expressed as much to a far more experienced colleague back at his former club earlier this year and was duly told that, if he stuck at it and knuckled down, taking on board everything Hodgson was instructing him to do, he would end up a much more rounded and Premier League-ready player. His recent displays proved that right.

Crystal Palace
Hodgson has helped Eze to thrive in the Premier League (Photo: Ian Walton/Getty Images)
“There is no Andros Townsend without Roy Hodgson’s influence,” Townsend told The Athletic last summer. “He does a lot of attack versus defence and, in one of his first training sessions he put me in as one of the defenders. I wasn’t happy and felt he was picking on me. I had a little sulk and he said, ‘I’m going to make a good defender out of you if it’s the last thing I do’. He never lets you forget about your defensive duties. But, by doing that, he gave us the stability we needed to become a solid mid-table team. It’s been perfect for myself, and perfect for the club.”

That was Hodgson’s brief — to maintain Palace’s status in the elite and deliver mid-table stability which, when a club have tended to labour more often than not in the dogfight near the foot of it, can feel progressive. He achieved it against the odds at times, setting the tone in that first campaign.

No other team had started a top-flight season with seven defeats and no goals mustered en route. Yet by the end of that year, he had Palace playing their most authoritative football as a Premier League club, whether ripping Leicester to shreds at home or condemning Stoke to relegation on their own patch, to secure a barely credible 11th-place finish. To put that into context, the club has only achieved a higher top-flight finish three times in its 116-year history.

He had his forward players tracking back and contributing defensively, though Zaha, Townsend or Ruben Loftus-Cheek would also spring upfield at pace. Chelsea loanee Loftus-Cheek’s form for Palace earned him an unlikely place in England’s World Cup squad that summer. The collective clicked.

“The players bought into everything we asked them to do,” reflected Hodgson. “Right from the outset, our philosophy — our principles of play and leadership — never varied. Not one player is not prepared to run back. Like Manchester City’s champions, who work hard off the ball, we don’t show any diva tendencies. Townsend and Zaha are constantly retrieving the ball. The spirit we have comes from the training ground. Staying up is down to the mentality and character of the players.”

It also owed plenty to the structure, discipline and tactical nous he instigated.

Hodgson has coached club or national sides in eight countries over his 45-year career, so it is perhaps no surprise to hear him described as a continental manager. He does not attempt to scour the market or to scout games in person across the lower leagues on wind-swept Tuesday nights. Those prospective signings he pushed for most readily were tried and tested performers, players whom he had previously come across or already knew.

There was no real risk in Palace adding the likes of Gary Cahill, James McCarthy, Cheikhou Kouyate, Jordan Ayew or Nathaniel Clyne to the ranks. Around that core of seasoned professionals and those he inherited, the hope was that younger talents or players previously untested in the Premier League — if they could be secured — would develop.

Given the necessity to remain in the division, Hodgson’s priority had to be the short term while others at the club looked at the bigger picture. There was always a line of communication open with the Palace hierarchy and technical staff but, as a head coach, his day-to-day focus was almost entirely on the training ground — alongside long-time lieutenant Lewington, who will also leave after the next two matches — as they sought to eke the best out of what they had.

In Palace’s situation, that has been ideal.

The club have their sporting director in Dougie Freedman, their recruitment and scouting departments, a hands-on chairman in Parish and fellow major shareholders in Josh Harris and David Blitzer in the US who, history suggests, will push the boat out to sanction deals if the team’s status is in jeopardy. They did so for Allardyce in January 2017, when Palace appeared to be sinking fast, with investment in Luka Milivojevic, Patrick van Aanholt, Jeffrey Schlupp and Liverpool loanee Mamadou Sakho.

Yet under Hodgson, there has never been that same sense of panic or need to intervene. Admittedly, the side have managed to establish themselves in mid-table. And, in truth, their form over the first half of the manager’s first full season was rather uninspiring until a restorative win over Leicester in mid-December and that celebrated, eye-catching success at Manchester City just before Christmas. But they have never appeared rudderless. If they ever stumbled, Hodgson found a way of steadying them.

Roy Hodgson's Crystal Palace future
Hodgson with former Palace boss Sam Allardyce in March (Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Last season, after a seven-match winless run either side of New Year suggested they might be dragged into trouble, the team dug out three timely 1-0 wins before lockdown to haul them out of a nosedive and, as it transpired, to safety.

After a while, of course, a side’s constant presence in lower mid-table starts to suggest they are treading water, and there have been plenty of times when injuries have given the team a rather makeshift feel.

Palace have played virtually the whole of this season with midfielder Kouyate at centre-half while a quartet of more natural defenders have flitted from treatment room to first-team, and Martin Kelly has strangely gone entirely ignored. Yet Hodgson’s ability to make do almost without complaint, to knuckle down and get on with it, has allowed the club to prioritise other areas for investment, most notably the £20 million construction of a Category One academy opposite the first-team training centre on Copers Cope Road.

The manager acknowledged as much earlier this month when noting just how many members of his current squad were already at the club when he arrived four years ago. “We’ve kept Palace up with a group of players who have been very faithful to the club… very loyal,” he said, which was a diplomatic way of saying the club have not been the most active in the market. “The bulk of them were here when I came, so there are an awful lot of players to whom we are grateful for their incredible efforts not just for the four years I’ve been in charge, but even before that.

“Steve Parish is rightly proud of that investment in the academy, and I am pleased our work over these four years has maybe freed up that sort of money for them to make the investment.”

Seven of the players who started Hodgson’s first game in charge, a 1-0 home loss to Southampton in September 2017, and four who were on the bench that day remained at the club this season. That suggests stunted evolution. The group in place are experienced. There is pedigree aplenty. But their best days were two, three or even four years ago. They are the finest squad in club history only on paper, with their collective injury record a reminder of how they have aged.

Crystal Palace
Hodgson and Ray Lewington oversee their first match at Palace in September 2017 (Photo: Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
It does not take a lot — a tweak, a strain, a stray boot in the face during training — for them to feel stretched. “And the manager would tell you that every win they achieve, every point they grind out, takes a tremendous effort in this division,” says a source close to the club. “It is exhausting, day to day.” That makes the points tally they have squeezed from the last two seasons — 43 and, to date, 44 — feel more impressive.

Hodgson has largely kept any frustrations over the absence of a more structured refresh buried, his guard only dropping in the afterglow of a season’s end, when optimism abounded and those present sensed an obvious opportunity to progress. That’s when he would offer his occasional public reminders that he might actually benefit from a few more options.

In the summer of 2018, he made the point that survival should be a springboard, not the pinnacle. That theme was revisited a year later and then, in conversation with The Athletic, reiterated as the mid-winter window approached last season.

“It’s all down to investment, no question,” he said in November 2019. “We’ve been punching above our weight for several years now. We are an ageing team. We have quite a few players over 30. Two-and-a-half years into the job here, we’re working, basically, with the same group of players who were here when I came. If we’re really going to be able to stabilise ourselves and become that middle to top-half team we would like to be, and can be — the club is big enough to embrace that — we have to make certain we keep pace a bit more with the investment.

“The club is fully aware that we need to invest. We need to rejuvenate in every respect if we’re going to move forward, not just to stay in the league by punching above our weight, fighting off the spectre of relegation. You can only do that for a number of years. Steve’s plans are there in terms of his vision for the club — the academy, unbelievably important of course, and the stadium, tapping into the enormous interest and love for the club in our particular region — but we need to get a team on the pitch as well that corresponds to that.

“To be fair, it’s not not happened because we don’t want it. The money’s not been available. That’s the job of the owners to try and make that happen. Not to do an Aston Villa or a Fulham, to spend £150 million (after promotion into the Premier League), but to make certain the players we need in the team are made available, and to bring in a few younger ones underneath who can come in and grow.”

That process was kickstarted last summer with the additions of Eze and, although injury has denied him any opportunities as of yet, Nathan Ferguson. This summer, it will gather pace with so many of the current first-team squad out of contract. Those in the hierarchy recognise that as an opportunity to be seized in a buyers’ market. Appointments have already been made to the scouting department to reflect a revamp.

Overhauls are occurring on and off the pitch at present, but it will be Hodgson’s successor who benefits.

There were occasional tensions with those above him. How could there not be flashpoints over a four-year stint in situ?

By definition, a club in mid-table are always going to endure periods of poor form, particularly in such a treacherous division, so every day is a challenge. When results were poor, the team’s rather regimented style of play felt all the more exposed as cautious, cagey, unambitious. Football behind closed doors over the pandemic has exacerbated that feeling for many though, strangely, Hodgson’s position probably came under closer scrutiny in more normal times.

There was that slow start to his first full season, with only three wins from the first 16 league games. The mini mid-season slump of 2019-20 also raised tensions, culminating in a 3-1 February defeat at Everton that had alarm bells ringing in the board room, before a flurry of wins either side of lockdown brought mid-table safety.

Crystal Palace, Everton
Questions were asked of Hodgson after Palace’s defeat at Goodison Park in February 2020 (Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
The manager’s one-year contract extension was formally announced two matches into that four-game winning sequence, just after three points at arch-rivals Brighton, but had been on the cards since the previous August after a first league win at Old Trafford in 30 years and a spritely start to the campaign. It is understood those on the coaching staff were surprised it was not agreed sooner.

The club might still have considered a summer change of manager, though, particularly given how poorly the team limped in with four points from nine matches, including seven straight defeats, upon the resumption. Meek July surrenders at Aston Villa, when Hodgson is understood to have been incensed at the slapdash nature of the performance and made that much clear to his players, and at Wolves were particularly disturbing. The manager, appearing animated and agitated, was caught on camera in the dressing-room at Molineux, though on this occasion he had actually been attempting to raise the mood, geeing up the defeated and praising their efforts.

Those board members present that night were less impressed, but they recognised a football calendar distorted by COVID-19 made the turnaround between campaigns too tight to move on from Hodgson. Identifying and extricating a replacement, with all its associated upheaval, was considered too disruptive a process and, potentially, far too pricey. The time was not right for sweeping change and, in truth, the team’s encouraging start to this season probably vindicated that approach.

Over the ensuing months, however, with fans exiled and craving entertainment from afar, the style of play has grated even more. Qualities that would once have been celebrated as dogged and admirable while the majority in the stadium hollered their support from the stands have been considered uninspiring and unambitious.

When Palace were beaten, they tended to be overwhelmed. Occasionally embarrassingly so. Only once in this current eight-year stint in the top division have they conceded more than their current tally of 61 goals.

It has been painful watching opponents monopolise the ball — even teams destined for relegation — particularly given Palace have often been stripped of the pace to be effective on the counter-attack. “He’s lasted as long as he has because there are no fans present,” offered one agent with players at the club. “Take the game against Leicester City in December. They would have let him have it at half-time with 33 per cent possession at that stage, even if the team did end up taking a point against one of the challengers for a place in the Champions League.”

But there was the dilemma laid bare. Palace saw little of the ball on their own pitch that night, but still gleaned some reward from the game. Brighton hardly afforded Palace a touch, home or away, yet Hodgson’s team squeezed four points from those two fixtures, scoring from each of their touches in the opposition box at the Amex Stadium, and more than enough overall to achieve the objectives set him last summer. In amid the thrashings have been 12 critical victories, wins that staved off the threat of being drawn into the scrap above those clubs down at the foot of the table, let alone the relegation struggle itself.

It has not been an easy watch. Plenty at the club have winced at how those successes were achieved — the fine comeback win over Aston Villa on Sunday was the first time Palace had beaten a team who started the day above them in over a year. Too often, usually due to injuries, the squad has felt imbalanced. If it has been bloated at centre-half, it has lacked wingers. If there are numerous striking options, they lack full-backs. Maybe, with greater investment in first-team ready personnel, and more variety to his options, things might have been different.

It should come as no real surprise that his team’s most proactive victories — the 5-0 home win over Leicester in April 2018 and the 4-1 away success against the same opposition the following season — came when the depth of quality at his disposal was at its deepest. But Yohan Cabaye was never properly replaced. Arguably, neither was Loftus-Cheek. Nor, effectively, was Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

And so we’re back to recruitment.

Previous Palace managers have been considerably more confrontational than Hodgson but there could still be prickliness on both sides. He was not afraid to say if he had doubts over a proposed move, particularly if the cost of the player in question was going to break the bank. He needed convincing a more lavish signing would be worth the expense, for all that his go-ahead on a pursuit — this club may follow the sporting director model, but there remains an old school element to their structure which takes into account the manager’s preference — did not necessarily mean a deal would ever actually be agreed.

Likewise, some grew frustrated at the length of time it took for new players to persuade the management they warranted regular involvement in his team.

Vicente Guaita was secured on a pre-contract agreement in January 2018 and it was an indication of his pedigree that one high-ranking Italian club subsequently offered Palace €8 million in the hope of securing the goalkeeper that summer as soon as his switch from Spain’s Getafe went through. That bid was rejected, yet it still took the new arrival six months to oust Wayne Hennessey as first-choice, for all that he had arrived from La Liga and probably needed time to adjust to new surroundings and pick up the basics of the language.

Vincente Guaita Fulham Crystal Palace goalkeeper possession
Could Vincente Guaita have assumed the No1 role quicker at Palace? (Photo: Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)
Hodgson, strict and demanding of high standards on the training pitch, made judgement calls on what he witnessed first-hand. If a player did not impress, he was not picked. It took time for Jairo Riedewald — a signing De Boer had sanctioned — to gain his trust. Max Meyer, a free transfer arrival from Schalke in summer 2018 and a full Germany international, never did and, in truth, never really looked likely to fit into a Hodgson midfield whether he had been earmarked to replace either Cabaye or Loftus-Cheek.

Victor Camarasa’s season-long loan in 2019-20 was cancelled six months early with the Spaniard having apparently made no impression whatsoever at Beckenham. He played five minutes of Premier League football for the club. Jean-Philippe Mateta, a 23-year-old striker who arrived from Mainz in January on a long-term loan with an option to buy, has started twice to date and is still striving to show he merits greater involvement. The hope is his time will come. His current toils might strike a chord with predecessor Alexander Sorloth.

Some within the club have been baffled this season that Michy Batshuayi, a player who had done relatively well while on loan at Palace for the second half of 2018-19, has found opportunities relatively limited on his current year-long stay. That deal, far from cheap given loan fees to Chelsea and Batshuayi’s wages, had been greeted with some enthusiasm by Hodgson when it was proposed last summer, not least with Palace lacking bodies up front. But, with Zaha largely operating as a central striker, the Belgian has started only seven top-flight games. In hindsight, it might have benefited Palace and their manager to have stuck instead with the original plan to sign Batshuayi’s club-mate, Conor Gallagher, at considerably less expense.

Crystal Palace
Batshuayi has found his chances limited under Hodgson this season (Photo: Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)
Asking a manager to work with a squad roughly half of whom were into the last year of their respective deals was another stern test of Hodgson’s motivational skills. The contractual situation was unsettling, not least because club stalwarts such as Joel Ward and Scott Dann, as well as much-used players such as Townsend, Cahill, Van Aanholt and Christian Benteke, were among the affected. Their own professionalism had not been in doubt but, with some having verbally agreed reduced terms to stay only to remain in limbo while waiting for a formal offer in writing, others (like Van Aanholt, Wayne Hennessey, McCarthy and Sakho) preparing to leave, and a few completely in the dark, the situation grew tenser over the run-in.

That they might be distracted is understandable. Those involved are anxious for answers as they fret over what happens next.

“We can’t deny the fact there are players on the bench who are unsettled,” admitted Hodgson after the defeat at Southampton earlier this month. “There’s a question mark over how much they are going to be prepared to die for the cause. We can only expect them to behave as human beings.”

Hodgson continued to pick those he trusts most — where was his incentive to blood those he did not consider ready and who might only benefit his successor? — though that merely reinforced the notion he had his favourites; that he was averse to shrugging off the shackles, that solid 4-4-2 which morphed towards the end into a 4-3-3, and trying something completely different or slightly more daring. In reality, Hodgson, backed up by such a weight of experience, knew his methods would achieve what had been demanded of him, so why would he risk everything and deviate?

Regardless, the suggestion this is a manager who has no interest in playing younger players is bogus. A quartet of academy players have made Premier League debuts under his stewardship. Tyrick Mitchell, with 17 starts this season, represents the team’s future at left-back. Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, one of a hugely impressive under-18s squad to have trained with the seniors, made the bench for a 4-1 home loss to Chelsea in April.

“Roy will always offer opportunities to those he sees potential in,” says one agent. “He tells them precisely what he expects from them when they train, whether they have been signed from outside or have come over the road from the academy building. There is a dialogue there and, if he sees something in them, he will use them. But he is always realistic. A player has to be good enough and ready. He won’t risk their futures just to play them in the Premier League for the sake of it. This idea that he actively wants to field a Dad’s Army every week because he trusts them over youth is rubbish.”

Only Kouyate of Palace’s outfield players this season boasts more Premier League starts than Eze’s 29. Yes, he has spent time and effort drumming into the recruit from second-tier QPR the need to contribute all over the pitch rather than merely in the final third — Palace already have Zaha in their ranks, and it has not been easy to accommodate two free-spirits — but Eze will emerge better from his time under the elder statesman’s wing.

Wan-Bissaka certainly did. The youngster had been seeking a loan move elsewhere to speed up his development and had initially been dismayed when Hodgson, in need of defensive cover, kiboshed that option. But the manager watched him nullify Zaha in training and, when the time came, was not afraid to fling him in at Premier League level. Whether an injury crisis forced his hand or not, the manager gave the 20-year-old right-back his senior opportunity and he seized it to startling effect, earning that record move to Manchester United on the back of only 42 league appearances. “My aim was always to make him proud,” said Wan-Bissaka.

Crystal Palace, Wilfried Zaha, Aaron Wan-Bissakka
Zaha and Wan-Bissaka have both acknowledged Hodgson’s influence on their careers (Photo: Getty Images)
Even Zaha, not always the easiest to man-manage and a figure who has pined for a summer move in every year of Hodgson’s stewardship, recognised the manager’s qualities.

“He’s kind of put it into perspective how I’m seen at the club and by my team-mates, and just that a lot of what I do, others look to it — even though I may not think they do,” Zaha said earlier this month. “He’s helped me grow as a person, and as a player, just with those little conversations with his wisdom.”

Hodgson turns 74 in August. That played a huge part in Palace’s thinking when it came to the possibility of renewing his contract at a time when they are attempting to construct a team that will sustain them for the next five years at this level, while the sparkling new academy beds in and some of the bright young things already making waves with their junior sides develop, hopefully, into first-team players. This felt a natural point for the parties to go their separate ways.

Indeed, the manager himself might have wondered over the logic in extending his stay at his hometown club. The size of the task awaiting this summer, certainly in terms of recruitment and integrating new faces, is daunting. There is bound to be a resumption of the annual pantomime around Zaha, who turns 29 in November and is contracted through to 2023, with the player’s desire to play European football as fierce as ever.

The local-lad turned Ivory Coast international’s future aside, Palace are optimistic about what can be achieved this summer and confident they will be able to instigate the overhaul the squad needs, but even Hodgson might recognise it might be more advantageous to have a new man at the helm to mould a new team.

Not that a figure who has overseen England and Switzerland at four major tournaments feels his time in the game is up. He may have conceded recently, offering it up as a hypothetical at the time, that his career at “an elite level like the Premier League” may be drawing to a close, but his thirst to coach has not been quenched. Retirement does not feel like an option. A short-term stint in charge of another national team does not feel inconceivable. There will be interest in a figure of his experience.

At some stage, Palace will invite him back and let him take the plaudits from a full house at Selhurst Park as appreciation for everything that has been achieved since September 2017.

His presence will be missed. Most on the outside looking in, once the memory of some of his team’s more turgid displays fades, will recognise that. Those who experienced his input first-hand, whether members of the club’s foundation who counted on his enthusiasm at public appearances or players such as Palace’s former centre-back Damien Delaney, will never forget.

“Roy was and is such a good manager,” the former Republic of Ireland defender, a member of the Palace team who secured promotion in 2013, told The Athletic last season. “Palace are extremely lucky to have a guy like him. I knew Roy would look after what we built. It’d be awful if someone came in and disrespected it and it lost its identity of what we built, but it hasn’t. He’s taken it to the next level.

“Anyone who complains about him… well, I’m not really sure what to tell them, but you should thank God every morning — or whoever put him at Palace and made him want to stay — because they are so lucky.”

 


said the rabid giraffe whilst brandishing his throbbing member of reason, and twas ever thus.

Did you know? 95% of people are morons.

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View Badger11's Profile Badger11 Flag Beckenham 18 May 21 12.48pm Send a Private Message to Badger11 Add Badger11 as a friend

Originally posted by Teddy Eagle


Happy retirement Roy. He is a gentleman and has carried himself with rare dignity in the modern world let alone the football world.

 


One more point

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View SW19 CPFC's Profile SW19 CPFC Flag Addiscombe West 18 May 21 12.48pm Send a Private Message to SW19 CPFC Add SW19 CPFC as a friend

No interest in Lampard, as is being mooted.

Derby 3.0

Attacking football, porous defence. Sound familiar?

 


said the rabid giraffe whilst brandishing his throbbing member of reason, and twas ever thus.

Did you know? 95% of people are morons.

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View Midlands Eagle's Profile Midlands Eagle Flag 18 May 21 12.49pm Send a Private Message to Midlands Eagle Add Midlands Eagle as a friend

Originally posted by westquay

My apologies..
What I meant to say was this...You are a f***ing moron...
Yeah ok Mods im already walking towards the tunnel...Worth it though..

You won't be punished for that as someone called me a moron a couple of weeks ago and no action was taken so a precedent has now been set.

Moron isn't the words that I would use as I prefer a type of fish but I can't remember what it's called. It's not a lemon sole or dover sole so it must be a different type of sole

 

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View saveloy's Profile saveloy Flag carmarthen 18 May 21 12.56pm Send a Private Message to saveloy Add saveloy as a friend

Originally posted by Midlands Eagle
It's also Welsh for carrot &#128522;


You won't be punished for that as someone called me a moron a couple of weeks ago and no action was taken so a precedent has now been set.

Moron isn't the words that I would use as I prefer a type of fish but I can't remember what it's called. It's not a lemon sole or dover sole so it must be a different type of so

 

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View HKOwen's Profile HKOwen Flag Hong Kong 18 May 21 12.58pm Send a Private Message to HKOwen Add HKOwen as a friend

Can I jump on the yes, jeeagles he is exactly that bandwagon

Originally posted by berlinpalace

He’s leaving but you just couldn’t give up the chance to show everyone what a f***ing knobhead you are.

 


Let's see SP and the board trying to line up for a piss in the AW toilets at half time before peddling the new stand. We're the Arthur over here and the facilities are a disgrace

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View HKOwen's Profile HKOwen Flag Hong Kong 18 May 21 1.03pm Send a Private Message to HKOwen Add HKOwen as a friend

I don't see why we should give Lampard experience and let him use us as a stepping stone, no way he would be more than short term. I just sense the Parish congenital desire to have ex footballers as mates (sic ).

In that respect Frank would be a major upgrade on DF and Brighty in terms of football pedigree.

Does anybody think Lampard wants to spend years building a team at Palace hoping we have an outlier season and get into the top seven once or even twice in ten years.

 


Let's see SP and the board trying to line up for a piss in the AW toilets at half time before peddling the new stand. We're the Arthur over here and the facilities are a disgrace

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View johnmcormick8's Profile johnmcormick8 Flag Brundish 18 May 21 1.06pm Send a Private Message to johnmcormick8 Add johnmcormick8 as a friend

To our local Hero's Roy n Ray
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

R Kippling

 

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View The Dolphin's Profile The Dolphin Flag 18 May 21 1.10pm Send a Private Message to The Dolphin Add The Dolphin as a friend

I am pleased that Roy has as such been allowed to leave on his own terms and through the front door, with dignity and with his head held high.
I wanted him to go at the end of this season and so it has come to pass.
He has however done a great job for us and the positives outweigh the negatives without a doubt.
The next stage of our journey awaits - a new Manager and a new squad.
It will be an exciting few months!

 

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View The Dolphin's Profile The Dolphin Flag 18 May 21 1.11pm Send a Private Message to The Dolphin Add The Dolphin as a friend

There was a comment on the BBC website under the main article - "Roy Hodgson - a broadsheet Manager in a tabloid world"!
Rather apt I thought!

 

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