After a turbulent 77-day spell under Frank de Boer, which ended with the Dutchman overseeing four straight Premier League losses without his side scoring a goal, things looked bleak for Crystal Palace.
The out-of-work Roy Hodgson was available and swiftly appointed as De Boer’s successor on 12th September 2017, with the Eagles enjoying a rare period of stability since the former England manager’s arrival – Palace have had seven permanent managers since 2011.
The 72-year-old comfortably led the south Londoners to survival in his first season at the helm, despite Palace losing their first seven games without scoring, although there have been plenty more excellent moments under the experienced boss as we surpass his first two years in charge…
What better way to start off than to recall Hodgson’s first win as manager of his boyhood club?
As aforesaid, the Eagles were on a goalless, seven-game losing spell before the champions Chelsea rocked up at Selhurst Park, but an own goal from Cesar Azpilicueta and a well-taken Wilfried Zaha effort earned Palace a shock 2-1 victory.
The veteran manager guided the team he supported as a boy to their largest ever Premier League win towards the end of the 2017/18 season, with a resounding 5-0 thumping of Leicester.
Goals from Zaha, James McArthur, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Patrick van Aanholt and Christian Benteke helped make club history – a real achievement from Hodgson and his players.
Perhaps the most surprising result of last season in its entirety, let alone Hodgson’s spell as Palace boss.
The south Londoners arrived at the Etihad Stadium with nothing to lose. Pep Guardiola’s men were the reigning champions and were also the only side in the top six tiers of the English game to have a 100% home record when Palace turned up just before Christmas last year.
However, having gone behind early on, a goal from Jeffrey Schlupp, a Puskas Award nominee from Andros Townsend and a steely penalty from Luka Milivojevic earned Palace a truly unbelievable win.
The 5-3 win over Bournemouth on the final day of last season saw Palace finish the campaign on 49 points, a club-record total for the Eagles in the Premier League era.
Two goals from Michy Batshuayi, an own goal from Jack Simpson, as well as strikes from van Aanholt and Townsend helped cement the impressive feat.
The Eagles created club and Premier League history with their 2-1 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford this season.
Jordan Ayew’s opener and van Aanholt’s last-gasp strike saw Palace record their first win over the Red Devils in the Premier League era – the Dutchman’s strike was also the first time United had conceded a stoppage-time winner at home in the Premier League.