Roy Hodgson has successfully weaved his magic at Crystal Palace, that’s for sure.
The Eagles are finally playing the thrilling, attacking football fans had hoped for and the crushing victory at Burnley proved their ruthlessness going forward. After such a long stint in the Premier League, the South London outfit now look as if they are enjoying life there, not just enduring it.
While Wilfried Zaha and Aaron Wan-Bissaka continued their surge towards competing for Palace’s player of the year, Michy Batshuayi’s bright performance must’ve pleased Hodgson the most.
After being tormented by Christian Benteke’s inefficiency in the final third, the presence of a clinical striker must feel good, won’t it?
Benteke’s often held back the Eagles from playing to their best, being a wasteful and frustrating entity leading the charge. The Belgium striker’s been unable to score a single goal for his side in 9 appearances, missing big chances and looking a shell out his former self.
Indeed, the fact that Palace have lost five of those nine matches speaks volumes.
Comparatively, his countryman Batshayi, who only arrived at the winter transfer deadline day, has already scored 2 from 5 appearances. Those have come from only five shots on target, proving how clinical he is and showing a different side to Roy Hodgson.
Even at 71, he’s still capable of changing. While many would have seen the former England manager as a firefighter in the Allardyce/Pulis/Pardew mould (and Steve Parish has been through them all), Hodgson can create an attacking brand of football for the fans to enjoy.
Not only is Michy a more potent goal-scorer than Benteke, but he also suits Palace’s electric style better.
He allows Zaha and Andros Townsend freedom in the final third with his movement.
Unlike Benteke, he doesn’t need them to do all the hard work to lay balls in his plate. With Batshuayi, Palace can opt for a more grounded, incisive style and his mirrored performances to Benteke proves the latter should be sold in the summer.
Thanks to Roy Hodgson, Palace can leave the relegation battles behind. Thanks to Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace don’t need Christian Benteke to work.
Palace fans, do you think Benteke should be sold this summer? Join the discussion by commenting below.