Why Crystal Palace have completed a masterstroke by tying Roy Hodgson down to a new deal
The summer transfer window across England slammed shut on 9th August 2018, one day before the Premier League season began. While Fulham became the first newly-promoted club to spend more than £100million in the transfer window, another London-based club hardly spent any money on their new signings.
Yes, we are talking about Crystal Palace. For an outsider, this might seem like a strange situation. How can a club that was nearly involved in a relegation battle during the previous season survive in the Premier League without strengthening its squad?
But from the perspective of an Eagles fan, the best bit of business was arguably done at the end of the window.
Manager Roy Hodgson has signed a contract extension to keep him at Selhurst Park for two years. Under this deal, Hodgson will continue to manage his boyhood club until June 2020 and earn around £3million per year. (Daily Mail).
Crystal Palace finished 14th in the Premier League in the 2016/17 season under the guidance of Sam Allardyce. The next manager, Frank de Boer, made things worse for the club. The Eagles were in desperate need of appointing an experienced head to anchor the sinking ship.
Hodgson, who had infamously led England to a Round of 16 defeat against Iceland in the Euro 2016, was appointed their new manager. Gradually, his side started to convert the defeats into draws and take whatever they could from each match that came their way.
A major setback for Palace was an injury to their talisman Wilfried Zaha. In his absence, the Eagles didn’t win a single match. However, their fortunes started to change on New Year’s Eve when they hosted high-flying Manchester City.
Although Pep Guardiola’s men couldn’t break down a solid Palace side, the Eagles were left disappointed with a draw after their captain Luka Milivojevic missed a penalty in injury time.
Regardless, the new year turned out to be a good one as Hodgson’s men managed to defeat Burnley and Southampton in the first few weeks. By the time summer arrived, Palace were safe and sound and started to play champagne football by dispatching Leicester City 5-0 at home.
For the first time in the history of the English top-flight, a club that had lost its first 7 games without scoring a single goal, had survived relegation and finished 11th.
To keep Hodgson around for two more years will provide Palace with some much-needed stability. On a personal level, the 71-year-old’s success with the club has given him a shot at redemption after his failures with the England team.
The former Liverpool manager is now at a good place. And with the new contract extension, suffice to say Roy Hodgson is finally at home.