Roy Hodgson’s career has gone full circle after the veteran manager was chosen to succeed Frank de Boer at Crystal Palace on Tuesday.
The well-travelled coach was a youth-team player with the Eagles in the mid-1960s, and returns to Croydon with a wealth of experience from overseeing various outfits including Malmo, Inter Milan, and Liverpool in 41 years of management.
Hodgson signed a two-year contract at Selhurst Park, and was negotiating a £1-million bonus if he keeps the bottom-placed club in the Premier League, The Mirror’s John Cross understands.
“It is very rewarding to find myself here now, in different times, as the Palace manager at a club that I have always loved and admired with a huge potential,” Hodgson said. “We are the club of south London, with an enormously large fan base. The ambitions here are realistic and there is an enormous potential for growth and I hope we can achieve our goals.
“I am very excited to be back in club football and it is a long while since I have enjoyed the day to day sessions of training.”
The veteran handler’s last job, in the difficult post of England manager, ended with an ignominious exit from the last 16 of Euro 2016 following a 2-1 loss to Iceland. Hodgson’s tenure was troubled by his worry over effectively communicating with players young enough to be his grandsons, The Telegraph’s Sam Wallace believes.
He’ll be immediately tasked with addressing a side that has lost its opening four league matches of the season without scoring a goal – the first time that’s happened in the English top flight since Preston North End in 1924-25 – and that appeared lost in De Boer’s attempts to introduce possession-based football in front of a three-man defence.
|Huddersfield at home||Premier League||Lost 3-0||Wing-back Joel Ward produced no dribbles or key passes|
|Liverpool away||Premier League||Lost 1-0||Crystal Palace mustered one shot on target|
|Ipswich at home||League Cup||Won 2-1||Ipswich fielded nine players aged 20 or younger|
|Swansea at home||Premier League||Lost 2-0||Christian Benteke didn’t shoot all match|
|Burnley away||Premier League||Lost 1-0||An improved showing saw 23 fail to breach Burnley|
Crystal Palace was previously attuned to a defensively stout four-man foundation and wide, direct attacking play honed by former bosses Tony Pulis, Neil Warnock, Alan Pardew, and Sam Allardyce, rather than De Boer’s totaalvoetbal-influenced plans.
With close confidant Bob Houghton, Hodgson was a proponent of the 4-4-2 formation in the early days of his coaching career in Sweden. That has often been the 70-year-old’s go-to formula, but he notably toyed with different shapes in midfield and attack while in charge of England. His usage of then-captain Wayne Rooney in a No. 10 slot prompted much criticism from fans and media, however, as it appeared detrimental to the freedom of Tottenham Hotspur duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
(Photo courtesy: Action Images)
His previous club stints in England were partially spoiled by an unpopular stay at Liverpool’s helm, although Fulham fans will cite his miraculous guiding of the Cottagers into the 2010 Europa League final as proof of his talents. West Bromwich Albion supporters also saw him lift the club from being seemingly destined for relegation to a mid-table entity before he was hired as national team manager in 2012.
Hodgson’s first call into the Eagles’ technical area will be when his new outfit hosts Southampton on Saturday.