Crystal Palace supporters have been somewhat despondent in recent times after seeing their team slump to a third successive Premier League defeat just prior to the current break for internationals.
Roy Hodgson’s men began the 2018/19 campaign with victory at Fulham to get them up and running, but have since struggled to back that up in going down at the hands of Liverpool, Watford, and more recently Southampton. And while they played reasonably well against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds last month, the same cannot necessarily be said of the latter two defeats to Javi Gracia’s Hornets and Mark Hughes’ Saints, which will have given manager Hodgson something to think about during the fortnight break for internationals.
As such, there have been many downbeat Palace fans up and down the country in recent times, although it is a year ago to the day that former England chief Hodgson took over at Selhurst Park, which the club have acknowledged with a post on their official Twitter handle.
Roy Hodgson joined us 1⃣ year ago today!
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) September 12, 2018
And after a woeful start to the 2017/18 campaign under Frank De Boer, chairman Steve Parish made a bold call to sack the Dutchman and then turn to 71-year-old Hodgson, what with questions and doubts surrounding the Englishman following the embarrassing end to his tenure with the national team.
Yet 12 months on from Parish’s big call, there is little doubt that he got it absolutely spot on in bringing Hodgson to the Eagles.
Ultimately, things were looking horrendous for the London club when Hodgson took over on September 12 2017, what with predecessor De Boer failing to pick up a point in their first four league games, thus resulting in his departure.
And while things didn’t get better straight away under Hodgson, given he lost his first three games in charge to leave Palace bottom with no points from their opening seven matches, the ex-England boss certainly got the Eagles playing to eventually pull clear of relegation.
In fact, the 71-year-old breathed new life into his boyhood club in lifting them from the bottom of the division to 11th place at the season’s end, finishing with 44 points from their 38 games, but obviously all 44 of those came in their last 31 matches of the campaign.
And while there were a few scares along the way, not least a four-match losing streak between February and March which saw Palace fall into the bottom three, Hodgson did a sensational job in lifting a club which was full of negativity and at the bottom of the league to the dizzy heights of mid-table – he deserves huge credit.
Yes, the start to this season hasn’t quite been what Eagles fans would have been looking for, but in seeing their team take it to likely title contenders Liverpool back on August 20, it underlined the job Hodgson had done in transforming the club given just 12 months earlier they were in the midst of that seven-match losing streak.
Clearly, it was a big call from Parish to appoint Hodgson following the troubling end to his England tenure, but it’s one that, 12 months on, the Palace chairman will surely be delighted that he made.
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