Returning to Selhurst Park with a bang, Roy Hodgson has dusted off the cobwebs and injected life into Crystal Palace. As the saying goes, ‘old is gold’ and in the case of Hodgson, his Midas touch seems as potent as ever. No, he’s not just mirroring Vieira’s record against the same foes. Hodgson has amped up the style quotient – a visible upswing in the team’s energy, a fluid style of play and a stellar connection with prodigious talent like Eberechi Eze.
Statistically, there’s proof in the pudding – a whopping 31 shots against Leicester City in his first game back, their highest ever in Premier League history, equals their previous record against Cardiff on Boxing Day 2018. Hodgson’s charge has resulted in 11 goals in just four matches, with resounding victories against formidable opponents.
However, there are looming questions. Could the pressure of a full season, coupled with transfer and contract negotiations, strain the stalwart? Would Hodgson’s energy and enthusiasm hold steady for a long-term commitment? Only time will tell.
Ange Postecoglou – The Scotsman from Down Under
Over at Celtic, Ange Postecoglou is doing some serious good. Under his helm, the Hoops have won back-to-back Scottish Premiership titles, a testament to his leadership. Postecoglou is renowned for his intense, attacking brand of football, built around a cohesive unit. His philosophy has brought tangible improvements at Celtic, offering a tantalising prospect for Palace.
However, without any Premier League experience and with the allure of Champions League football in Glasgow, would he be ready to swap the Celtic greens for Crystal Palace’s red and blue? It’s a question that only Postecoglou can answer.
Steve Cooper – Nurturing Young Talent
With a keen eye for young talent and a knack for survival in the toughest circumstances, Steve Cooper might just be the fit for Crystal Palace. Cooper’s work with England Under-17s is commendable, and his pragmatic approach at Nottingham Forest could suit Palace’s tactical preferences.
His ability to orchestrate attacking play with pace and precision could suit the talents of Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi. However, would he be able to carry this performance over a full Premier League season? And can Crystal Palace coax him away from Nottingham Forest’s unpredictable owner?
Graham Potter – The Seagull Soaring?
Despite a past mired in Brighton’s rivalry and a turbulent spell at Chelsea, Graham Potter’s Premier League experience is undeniable. His inclination towards possession-based football transformed Brighton’s style of play and could be an exciting prospect for Palace.
Despite the baggage of his past failures, especially the struggle to establish strong relationships with players at Chelsea, Potter’s prowess in managing clubs under intense scrutiny cannot be undermined. However, it remains to be seen if Palace’s appeal would be strong enough to draw him away from bigger clubs.
Arne Slot – The Dutch Delight?
Arne Slot, the current Feyenoord manager, is a promising contender. His high-intensity, aggressive style of play reflects inspirations drawn from Guardiola and other elite coaches. Moreover, his excellent communication skills and relationship-building prowess could strike a chord with Palace.
However, his lack of Premier League experience and the fact he is under contract in the Netherlands might pose hurdles for the Eagles.
Brendan Rodgers – The Jilted Fox?
Rodgers’s CV alone makes him an attractive proposition for Palace, given his impressive record with Liverpool and Leicester City. His patient, progressive build-up play and high-intensity pressing game make him a potential asset for Palace.
The sour end to his Leicester stint could make a move to Selhurst Park appealing, but will Rodgers consider stepping down a notch in club stature?
To conclude, Crystal Palace is staring at an array of tantalising options. Each candidate brings a unique proposition, from tactical acumen and Premier League experience to a knack for nurturing talent. Crystal Palace will need to weigh these factors judiciously and select the candidate that fits perfectly into the vision and ambition of the club. It’s certainly a high-stakes game – after all, they are playing for their Premier League future.