Thursday, February 29, 2024

Hodgson reappointed Crystal Palace manager aged 75

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Roy Hodgson previously managed Crystal Palace from September 2017 until May 2021

Former England manager Roy Hodgson has been reappointed as Crystal Palace boss until the end of the season.

Hodgson, 75, managed Watford from January to May 2022, leaving after they were relegated to the Championship.

“It is a privilege to be asked to return to the club, which has always meant so much to me,” said Hodgson.

“Our sole objective now is to start winning matches, and to get the points necessary to ensure our Premier League status.”

Hodgson had said he did not expect to take another managerial job in the Premier League after his departure from Watford.

Ray Lewington also returns to Palace as first-team coach with Paddy McCarthy, who took charge of Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at Arsenal, named assistant manager.

“I would like to welcome Roy and Ray back to the club,” said Palace chairman Steve Parish.

“We are obviously in a very challenging period but we believe that Roy’s and Ray’s experience, knowledge of the club and players, alongside Paddy can help fulfil the immediate requirement of keeping us in the league.”

Palace are 12th in the top flight but only three points above the relegation zone following their defeat at Emirates Stadium.

Hodgson’s first game in charge during his second spell will be at home to Leicester on 1 April.

His managerial career has spanned more than 45 years and includes stints at Inter Milan, Blackburn, Fulham, Liverpool, West Brom and Palace, while he has also led the national sides of Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and Finland.

Hodgson has managed six clubs in the Premier League, taking charge of 382 games and already holds the record for being the competition’s oldest manager.

He led England from 2012 to 2016, but they failed to qualify from their group at the 2014 World Cup and Hodgson resigned after a shock 2-1 defeat by Iceland in the last 16 of Euro 2016.

In May 2022 he was honoured with a CBE for his services to football.

‘Hodgson a safe pair of hands in relegation battle’

Analysis by Alex Howell, BBC Sport

Crystal Palace have turned to Roy Hodgson as a safe pair of hands to try to fight off the threat of relegation.

Following the sacking of Patrick Vieira, it was understood Hodgson was one of the names being considered by the Palace hierarchy and you can grasp their thinking.

After taking over at Palace in 2017, Hodgson kept the Eagles clear of relegation for the four seasons he was in charge.

However, some supporters are not keen to see the former England manager return, due to the style of football that was played towards the end of his previous spell in the Selhurst Park dugout.

There are also reservations about how his time at Watford ended following his short-term appointment last season, when he was unable to stop the Hornets being relegated from the Premier League.

Under Vieira, Palace were not conceding a lot of goals. The team’s problem is at the other end of the pitch, with the Eagles struggling to put the ball in the back of the net.

The advantage of hiring Hodgson is he already knows a number of Palace’s key players.

Getting Wilfried Zaha scoring again will be Hodgson’s biggest target, with the Eagles’ hopes of staying in the top flight heavily reliant on their talisman. Zaha is the only player in the squad who has scored regularly in the league over the past four seasons.

It could be argued that there is a lot more talent in this current Palace squad than the one Hodgson left in 2021. With players like Joachim Andersen, Marc Guehi, Cheick Doucoure, Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze, it will be interesting to see the style of football he implements as Palace look to extend their stay in the top flight to 11 seasons.

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