Having sacked Dutch manager Frank De Boer just four games into the new Premier League season, with Crystal Palace yet to secure a point or score a goal, the Eagles face a huge fight to avoid relegation to the second-tier and have appointed a familiar face.
Former England boss Roy Hodgson is returning to club football and rejected two offers from China because he felt he would always get another chance in England, which has now come about following the swift demise of De Boer in South London.
Hodgson wanted to return to club management after leaving the England post last summer, having exited the European Championships at the hands of minnows Iceland, and he’ll certainly have his work cut out at Selhurst Park.
Chairman Steve Parish has understandably been criticised for axing De Boer just four games into the Dutchman’s tenure, with the general consensus being that the dismissal was far too quick. They’ve also set themselves a dangerous precedent for the forthcoming season, should things not go to plan.
Hodgson faces a baptism of fire at Crystal Palace as the Eagles’ next four games see them clash with Southampton, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea; so it’s not farfetched to speculate that their winless run could continue until the back-end of October.
Crucial periods for Hodgson and Palace come at the end of next month, when they clash with Newcastle and West Ham, but the most important period of games is likely to come before Christmas; where Palace play West Brom, Bournemouth, Watford, Leicester City and Swansea before hosting Arsenal on Boxing Day.
Given the performances of Palace this season, it’s difficult to give a genuine assessment of the side’s chances and they’ll need a dramatic upturn in fortune if they are to save their campaign. However, they have a number of talented players at their disposal.