Monday, March 4, 2024

Roy Hodgson needs to ‘really shake things up’ at Crystal Palace

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Crystal Palace fans will be “so divided” on the appointment of former manager Roy Hodgson until the end of the season, according to ex-Eagles midfielder John Salako.

“Hodgson is such a wonderful guy,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast. “He’s so experienced, he’s so loved and respected at Palace, but he’s 75 years old he was there for fours years between 2017 and 2021.

“We were supposed to be moving forward with Patrick Vieira and I’m still reeling from his sacking.”

Palace are currently 12th in the Premier League, but are just three points above the relegation zone and without a win in 2023.

“We were sleepwalking into a relegation battle,” added Salako. “We’ve been in the top flight for 10 years and I often talk about being in this magic circle that’s the Premier League and it is just such a privilege and an honour for Crystal Palace.

“We don’t dream of Europe, we don’t dream of winning things. Last year it was wonderful we got to a semi-final but we had Connor Gallagher and we didn’t replace him.”

Salako, who played over 200 games for Palace, feels Vieira should have “showed his teeth” more while in charge of the team.

“He was such an aggressive player, he was a real winner and he’s gone into that dressing room and I think he just gave too much license, too much respect,” he said.

“As a Palace fan we loved him being in charge but you could see something wasn’t quite right.

“Now Roy’s coming in and he’s a safe pair of hands. He’s a great gentleman, a great coach, but the team isn’t fit enough.

“You need a big voice and Roy needs to go in there and really shake things up.”

The former England manager will have the international break to work with his players before Palace return to Premier League action against relegation rivals Leicester on 1 April.

“That match becomes a cup final now and Roy’s got two weeks to work with the boys, do some fitness, do some shape and come up with a plan to beat Leicester,” added Salako.

“Palace fans are going to be divided, but he’s here now and we need to support him, we need to back him, and there’s no better fans than the Palace fans.”

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