Crystal Palace have announced that Roy Hodgson is stepping down as the manager of Crystal Palace. The 73-year-old has managed Crystal Palace his childhood club for four years in a row. The English tactician has managed to keep the Eagles in the premier league throughout his spell. With Hodgson stepping down Crystal Palace are in the hunt for a new manager.
After nearly four years of managing his boyhood club, Roy Hodgson will be stepping down as our manager at the end of this season.
Thank you for everything, Roy ❤️💙
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) May 18, 2021
Palace has a good crop of youngsters in their squad along with veterans of the game. Tyrick Mitchell and Eberechi Eze represent the potential the Londoners have in their ranks. Wilfried Zaha and a resurgent Christian Benteke are standard players that can get the job done. Hodgson employed a defensive counter-attacking strategy that worked only a few times at the club.
The new manager coming in can reap the benefits of a good young squad. The club has a lot of work to do in the summer with 12 senior players out of contract. That will leave only 13 players from the first team at the club. Eze’s recent injury which will keep him out for 6-8 months further complicates things.
Wilfried Zaha’s annual transfer drama would unfold again in the summer. Crystal Palace can show some ambition with its new manager and aim for a top-half finish along with an eye on European spots as West Ham and Everton have done.
As Crystal Palace begin the hunt for their new manager, FootTheBall looks at the profiles of few potential managers for the London club.
1) FRANK LAMPARD – ENGLAND
The Legendary midfielder had a mixed spell at Chelsea during his one and half year stay at the club. Lampard had only one season of managerial experience at Derby in the Championship prior to his job at Chelsea. Lampard was interested in the Palace job as it would keep him in London and give himself a shot of rising in the managerial ranks.
Lampard as a manager lacked a special identity. His Derby and Chelsea teams were free-flowing attacking teams with no protection to defence. The players used to bomb forward at will leaving their defensive roles. When the attacks are well executed it results in goals and helped them win matches. When they do lose the ball they find themselves horribly out of shape and get caught on the counter.
This indicates the fact that Lampard doesn’t train his troops in defensive situations in training sessions. In his first season at Derby, he almost led them to the Premier League making a grand debut. Chelsea were impressed with it and brought him home as their manager.
Lampard was appointed as a manager during a transitional season in West London. They were also serving a transfer market ban which forced them to trust their academy. This is where Lampard impressed the most. His man-management came to the fore as he brought the best out of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic.
A 4th place finish with that squad was seen as a success. The following season he was handed a £200 million war chest as they splashed money in the transfer window. Lampard failed to get the best out of signings Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech. A poor run of form saw him sacked midway through the season.
Perhaps the Chelsea job came too soon for him. The manager’s hot seat at Chelsea demands instant results and is unforgiving. Crystal Palace unlike Chelsea can give him time to discover an identity. He can bring the best out of their youngsters and help the London club pursue their ambitions.
2) CHRIS WILDER – ENGLAND
Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United have been relegated from the Premier League. The 53-year-old left the head coach role at Sheffield a few months ago and the team has been none the wiser for it. One can not question Wilder’s managerial capabilities as he certainly wasn’t to be entirely blamed for the Blades’ sinking.
Wilder and his Blades took the Premier League by storm in the 2019/2020 season. They had a fantastic season until the lockdown. A poor run after the restart saw them fall out of contention for European places. Nevertheless, a respectable 9th place finish with 54 points was secured. The Blades deployed a 3 man back with a 5 man midfield that had the wing-backs and the wide centre-backs as main attacking outlets.
A physical industrious strike pair complemented well in the final third. A highly energetic midfield pressed the opposition and maintained defensive shape. Overlapping centre-backs are a special feature of Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United. A short break in the summer and being more affected by the absence of fans led to their downfall.
Wilder, if backed properly, can implement his philosophy to perfection in London. He has proved his value in the Premier League and can’t be allowed to go back to the Championship. So don’t be surprised to see him back in the top flight any time soon.
3) Valerien Ismael
The 45-year-old French manager is lighting it up in the Championship with Barnsley. An ex-Crystal Palace player, Ismael returned to the British Isles this season and has made his work stand out in a very brief time. A move to the Premier League can come with either Barnsley who are in the Championship Play-offs or with a job at Crystal Palace.
Ismael is an animated figure on the touchline and doesn’t shy away from expressing his feelings. He expects the same from his players every time they step onto the pitch. His Barnsley side have completely surrendered to him and adapted his philosophy excellently.
He switches between a 3 man and a 5 man backline supplemented by an energetic and high-pressing midfield. The tempo of the players is top class as they keep charging throughout the game. He extracted the best output from his players and his side as result finished 6th in the table earning a play-off spot. Though they trail 1-0 to Swansea after the first leg, they look confident. Even if he fails in getting the promotion Isamel’s work can be appreciated.
One thing Palace might consider before getting Ismael on board is whether they have the right kind of personnel to implement his tactics. His experience at the top level may also be considered before making any move for him.
4) EDDIE HOWE
Howe is an exciting British manager any club would love to have. The fact that he’s without a club for a year is stunning. Howe can be counted among the most efficient managers in the game. The way he ran Bournemouth during their stay in the Premier League speaks volumes about his credentials. Their relegation the previous season can largely be put down to an unprecedented injury crisis.
Howe generally uses a compact 4-4-2 formation with attacking full-backs and wide midfielders. He also uses a good combination of strikers. One plays as a target man whereas one plays as a runner behind the lines. Bournemouth stayed in the Premier League for 4 straight seasons successfully thanks to this classic system.
An injury crisis left Howe severely bruised as they failed to survive in the top-flight. Howe was respected massively on the South coast. All of the club’s business had to go through him. He played a key part in signing and managing players at the club. He brought the best out of players like David Brooks and Ryan Fraser. He left them on mutual consent after 8 years in charge as they were relegated to the Championship.
A chance at Crystal Palace would give more scope for Howe to grow as a manager. He can be trusted with a project and given enough time and resources to deliver the results. This can be a perfect match for both parties involved.