Enough is enough: Why the former England boss deserves more credit for what he has done at Crystal Palace


Why Roy Hodgson Deserves More Credit For Turning Things Around At Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace were gracing the bottom spot in the Premier League for the longest time this season and their performances only seemed to worsen. Even as newly-promoted sides like Burnley and Huddersfield Town did well, the Eagles were experiencing a massive slump in form and were the favourites to get relegated. However, all that changed once the club sacked Frank De Boer and appointed Roy Hodgson in his stead. When he arrived at Selhurst Park, Palace were a mess on all levels.

Their tactics did not work, the players lacked desire and there was just a general sense of gloom and doom surrounding the club. Their main priority back in September was to somehow save their top-flight status and now, Palace looked well poised to achieve a top-10 finish.

More than anything else, a lot of this has happened because of Hodgson’s incredible impact at the club. This meteoric rise in the points table and an upward trajectory of form would not have been possible had De Boer stayed back with the club. They sacked him at the right time and brought in the right man to steer the club to safety.

The way he has changed them from a team bereft of confidence to a team playing exciting, attack-oriented football is quite commendable. To be fair, Palace’s current crop of players are quite capable of delivering results but something was amiss during De Boer’s tenure this season. They lacked confidence more than anything else and just looked disinterested in most games. However, now with Wilfried Zaha spearheading the attack, things look a lot more organised and sharp.

The manager keeps changing Zaha’s role and that could be a reason behind the club’s freshness in terms of attack. Whenever he plays a central role, Palace look stronger on the counter-attack and that creates a lot of opportunities for the players to wreak havoc upon their opposition.

In fact, he seems to be displaying many signs of the kind of player he was when Manchester United purchased him back in 2013 and Palace fans will hope that this upsurge continues. Another player who deserves special mention is Bakary Sako. From being a liability to the club, Sako has transformed himself into quite a formidable option under Hodgson.

While everything looks set for now, Palace must bear in mind that they have a long way to go. As of now, they are doing great but they do have quite a lot of key players out with injuries.

The likes of Jason Puncheon and Scott Dann are likely to miss the rest of the season whereas Andros Townsend and Jeffrey Schlupp have been in and out of games. Meanwhile, players Joel Ward, Mamadou Sakho, Connor Wickham and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are also injured and this could potentially paint a worrisome prospect for the club.

However, they deserve credit for what they have achieved so far in trying times and although they have a long way ahead of them, Hodgson has been a beacon of hope for the Eagles.

Meghna Sengupta

Editor @ Soccersouls. Lives in Chennai, and a Manchester United fan. Follow me on Linkedin

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