Crystal Palace is set to make a shock move by bringing back former manager Roy Hodgson to replace Patrick Vieira, who was sacked on Friday. The Eagles’ chairman, Steve Parish, made the decision to let go of Vieira after the club failed to win a game in 2023 and was only three points above the relegation zone. Hodgson, who was replaced by Vieira in 2021 after four years in charge, is willing to return until the end of the season to keep Palace in the Premier League.
Hodgson, who is 75 years old, first came to Palace’s rescue when he was appointed as their manager following Frank de Boer’s disastrous 77-day spell as Eagles boss. He fought off relegation on a shoestring budget across his four years in charge. The former England manager had previously insisted that last year’s brief stint at Watford, which ended in relegation from the Premier League, would be his last gig as a manager. However, talks with Palace chiefs this weekend have progressed well, and he is ready to step back in once again.
Under-21s manager Paddy McCarthy, a former Palace captain, will take charge of the side at Arsenal on Sunday and is highly regarded at the club. The 39-year-old has turned down several job opportunities in the last 18 months on the promise of progress at Palace and could well be part of Hodgson’s first-team staff should the ex-Liverpool manager make a comeback.
A move to appoint Hodgson once again, even only until the end of the season, would be a significant departure from Parish’s plan to move forward as a club under a more progressive manager following four years of a pragmatic approach. Vieira made a flying start to life as a Premier League boss, introducing a more free-flowing style and leading them to an FA Cup semi-final last season. However, the attractive football has disappeared since the return from the World Cup break, leaving Palace in a relegation battle.
Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are among the other candidates who could take the hot seat at Palace. However, Hodgson’s experience and familiarity with the club could make him an ideal candidate to steady the ship and keep Palace in the top flight for another season.
Hodgson’s potential return to Palace has divided opinion among fans. Some believe that he is the right man for the job given his previous success at the club, while others feel that it is time for a fresh approach. However, one thing is for sure: Hodgson will have his work cut out for him if he does return to Selhurst Park.
Palace has struggled for consistency this season, with injuries and poor form affecting key players such as Wilfried Zaha and Conor Gallagher. Hodgson will need to find a way to get the best out of his squad and ensure that they are competitive in every game. He will also need to address Palace’s defensive issues, which have seen them concede 28 goals in 19 league games this season.
Overall, Hodgson’s potential return to Palace is an intriguing development in what has been a challenging season for the club. Whether he can turn things around and keep them in the Premier League remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: he will give it his all and leave no stone unturned in his quest for success.