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October 27 2020 12.10am

Toffees win deepens Palace woes

February 9 2020

Is Roy Hodgson’s Palace management time at a crossroads?

Is Roy Hodgson’s Palace management time at a crossroads?

With the Eagles sinking down the table, the team travelled to Goodison, aiming to stop the rot. Unfortunately a 3-1 defeat was not a happy result, reports Jamesey.

With only a bizarre and uncharacteristic mistake by keeper Vicente Guaita giving Sheffield United all the points at Selhurst last week, the Eagles were hoping to steady the ship at Goodison.

Far from steadying the ship, Palace travelled home with the dreaded “R” word looming after such a promising start to the season.

What happened to our indomitable defensive set-up? The Toffees’ three goals pretty well sum up current weaknesses.

The first from Bernard in the 18th minute, impressive though it was, presented him with an open goal. Where was the defence?

The second (58th minute) emphasised the age issue. Richarlison sliced through the midfield and Gary Cahill’s ageing legs couldn’t match the the Everton man’s youthful pace and the Brazilian was able to pick his spot and score.

The third once more emphasised Palace’s defensive frailty. A corner kick in the 87th minute, (was it Everton’s first?), found an attacker and hit the bar. Then Calvert-Lewin, unmolested, popped it in.

Depressingly, Christian Benteke’s tame shot should really have been an easy save. Nevertheless it did level the game at 1-1 and might even help the Belgian’s confidence to feature on the score sheet again. And he could have made it two, apart from a world-class save from Pickford.

Wilfried Zaha was anonymous in most of the first half although later he showed some of the skill and ability that we supporters know he possesses.

However, any Loadsalolly scout watching Wilf for the first time might well wonder why there is an £80m price on him. He naturally attracts the continual fouling that all highly skilful and dangerous players do, but his sulkiness and moaning must alienate referees. He might be awarded more free-kicks he just got on with the game.

Interestingly, Andros Townsend was left on the bench although it was the type of match where one of his flair shots from distance might have paid off. But I mustn’t join the legion of would-be managers who all know better than the real one.

And turning finally to the above subject, anyone interested enough to read my comments will know that since his arrival in 2017, I have always stoutly defended Roy Hodgson in every respect.

Although there appears to be a mounting lobby of supporters who think Roy should go, I still think – like his predecessors in the Pilesomoulah, Holloway, Pulis, Pardew, Allardyce and de Boer – he is fulfilling his main target set by the chairman to keep CPFC in the Loadsadosh.

After the disappointing display against Everton even I was wavering ever so slightly.

Listening to the embarrassing statistics trotted out by the pundits – oldest team, oldest manager, fewest shots on target, fewest this and fewest that, it is looking distinctly possible that staying up could be a problem this season.

Not many goals conceded with a cast-iron defensive strategy looks like a thing of the past, even allowing for all the other factors – wholesale injury problem, sale of a superb right full-back, total lack of new blood in the January transfer window, etc.


Roy is playing with a largely inherited group of players and he has to make the best of what he’s got and he appears to be at odds with recruitment director Dougie Freedman and chairman Steve Parish who has to balance the club’s books in all areas, not just splurging out cash in the transfer market.

If Roy were to go, who else would fill his shoes? To replace him now would be crazy, as a new broom would be totally unproductive, unsettling and confusing for the team and, depending on the new boss, possibly a big negative for we supporters, if we are even considered any more?

Roy is a decent and honourable man and I believe that he will step down this summer if what he feels is his absolute duty – keeping us in the elite and financially beneficial top tier – is not achieved.

CPFC’s league position at 14th is not as catastrophic as it sounds. There are, as I write, a quarter of the league’s clubs on 30-31 points. A win or a loss could transform the whole picture.

Roy will, in my view, keep us up although it might get a little hairy by late April. The summer break will be the time for a major sort out of all matters managerial, financial, a club strategy, a clear-out of some of the high wage earners and an influx of more young prospects.

Roy must stay for now.

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