As the final whistle went at the London Stadium social media exploded into a flood of posts wanting Roy Hodgson removed from his post as manager of Crystal Palace. And I can sympathise with that point of view.
After Tueday’s awful display away at Brighton you would expect just about any manager to send a message to the players and fans alike that the performance at Brighton was unacceptable. However, just the opposite happened. Roy Hodgson picked the same team and fans expected the worst before kick-off.
You can’t polish a turd
I tweeted on Tuesday that the team believed the hype written about them after our win over Burnley at Selhurst Park. I also tweeted that with the exception of 3 players all of the team at the
Tampax Amex Arena were not playing in fear of being dropped. Now matter how terribly Zaha, Tomkins and the like played, who was going to come in and replace them?
Would Uncle Roy abandon the Zaha-Townsend partnership to deploy Ayew and Sørloth? That probably would see him committed to the funny farm. Would he drop Meyer and put Schlupp into the team? Or maybe drop Sakho and give Kelly a run out?
None of them were very likely and to be fair to Roy he didn’t have anyone to put into the team. We simply do not have a good squad. I said this often in September and I got shouted down. The consensus was that our squad was now better but that was just people wanting to not see the water pouring in through the cracks.
Wedded to 442?
There is the opinion that Roy is steadfastly wedded to 442 and that might be correct. I would say it is more a 4222 because we play so narrow. I am a big fan of 442. I’ve been raised on it and Palace’s most successful period was when we played it.
Note: our most successful period was between 1989-1992 when we finished 3rd.
But Roy doesn’t play 442 the way it should be played, with flying wingers who put the ball across for a centre forward to stuff in the back of the net. And I don’t know why.
We have the personnel to play that way with Zaha and Townsend on the wings putting the ball into the box for Benteke, Wickham or Sørloth to win headers. We could deploy Ayew or Meyer as the #10 role or stick Ayew out on the wing and have Zaha player the #10 role.
It’s all the same to me, we just need to play with wingers!
Sacking Hodgson seems to be the easy option after all he is responsible. Isn’t he?
To be honest, I don’t think he is. He is responsible for some of it, he picks the team and sets out the tactics but who is the numpty who buys the players and oversees the running of the club? The main culprits in the mess we see before is is Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman.
Mistake have been made but they have been over the last 6 years and they are not Hodgson’s mistakes. I accept he has made mistakes but it seems we are using the manager as a scapegoat for someone else’s incompetence.
I’ve never been Hodgson’s biggest fan but he has performed miracles with us and at other clubs. He isn’t a Muppet and he doesn’t have the depth of squad he needs. A manager can only get a team to perform above it’s level for so long before it descends to the real level.
We’ve have managers come in and do a job for the first 6-12 months then it all goes downhill. These managers can’t suddenly be awful after 6-12 months, something else has to be going on.
Should He Stay Or Should He Go?
So should we say Hodgson? Maybe so but not for our sake, for his! Who can we bring in to replace him? Who have we not yet appointed who is any good?
Some people laughingly suggested Darren Moore, the West Brom manager. A manager who has been doing a manager’s job since March. Less than a year. I guess it is these same cretins who suggested Tim Sherwood to be our manager after two stints in a manager’s job totalling less than 18 months.
Maybe Hodgson should be sacked but when you hear who the crowd want to appoint I think it might be better the devil you know!