On Tuesday, veteran Crystal Palace head coach Roy Hodgson announced that he would not be renewing his contract with his boyhood club for next season. The 73-year-old’s decision was not a major surprise and he hinted that he would not manage in the English top-flight again.
Hodgson has been in charge of the Eagles for four seasons and has done an excellent job of keeping the team in a steady position and in the Premier League.
A long managerial career
Roy Hodgson has been there, seen in and bought a few t-shirts when it comes to the management of football teams. His long career has taken him to Scandinavia, Italy and of course to some of the biggest jobs in the English game, including managing the national team.
His first managerial post was way back in 1976 at Swedish club Halmstad. If Palace is his last managerial role, then there is no doubt he will be happy with the way he has ended his career by keeping his beloved club in the Premier League.
Steadied a very shaky ship at Palace
When he arrived at Selhurst Park after a disastrous short tenure of Frank de Boer, the Eagles were rock bottom of the Premier League. Despite it being relatively early in the campaign, some had already written the Eagles off as relegation fodder. In short, Palace were in a major mess.
At the time, the appointment of Hodgson was not the most exciting appointment. However, appointing the veteran boss was a wise and safe choice, as they needed a calm and steady influence to get them out of trouble.
Hodgson rescued the Eagles from the drop and they have avoided the drop ever since. The football may not have been expansive, but it has been effective. Hodgson has produced a highly effective team, on what is a rather small budget compared to many of their Premier League rivals. It is a big tribute to the veteran’s coaching skills that he has kept Palace in such a steady condition.
The former England head coach does not always get the credit he deserves for his knowledge of the beautiful game. He will also be remembered in the game due to the classy way in which he conducts himself, on and off the pitch.
Palace need the right replacement for Hodgson
It seems likely that Roy Hodgson will now retire from football management. Ironically, his last game in management will come at the home of former club Liverpool on Sunday.
Palace will then have to look for Hodgson’s replacement. No doubt the Eagles hierarchy already have been making plans for this eventuality for a while. The current favourite for the role is Swansea head coach Steve Cooper, who has impressed with the Swans. Former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is also in the running for the job, as is Eddie Howe, Sean Dyche and Chris Wilder.
The Eagles need to find the right replacement for Hodgson, as the club could well lose several players this summer, with a starting line-up worth of players out of contract with the Eagles.
They also need to consider the type of head coach they bring in, as they will maybe have learnt from De Boer’s failed spell that a head coach that tries to play expansive football with the players at the club may not turn out too well.
Roy Hodgson is certainly a tough act to follow for the Eagles and it will be fascinating to see what happens this summer, both in the dugout and in which players decide to move on to pastures new.
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