Roy Hodgson

Crystal Palace: What's going wrong for Roy Hodgson and how bad is it?

Following a heavy defeat by Arsenal, which extended their winless run to 12 matches, Crystal Palace sacked their manager, a sorry end given the promise the previous campaign had ended with. Deja vu...

Luckily for Roy Hodgson, he's managed a couple of wins in his last 14 games, and those victories really do feel like the only thing that has so far kept him from being given the same treatment as predecessor Patrick Vieira.

It's unlikely that will be for much longer though, with the 76 year old the heavy sack race favourite, and Graham Potter and Steve Cooper continuing to be strongly linked with succeeding him.

So 10 months on, with Palace back in exactly the same position, maybe it's not just the manager's fault?

Premier League relegation (odds via Sky Bet)

  • Sheffield Utd - 1/20
  • Burnley - 1/3
  • Luton Town - 4/9
  • Nottingham Forest - 2/1
  • Everton - 10/3
  • Crystal Palace - 11/1

Odds correct at 1450 GMT (24/01/24)


The banners recently displayed by Palace supporters laid bare the division that exists at the club.

After Hodgson brilliantly steered the Eagles to safety last season by sparking Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise into life during a favourable run of fixtures, it should have been a time to thank him and move on, a summer to usher in the period of change that was required.

But having been burnt by Frank de Boer's catastrophic failure and the ultimately unsuccessful tenure of Patrick Vieira, reigns that were both followed by Hodgson's appointment, and being led by an ownership group who are lukewarm in terms of ambition, the former England boss was given a new one-year-deal.

While appearing logical in that it gave the board time to figure out their next move it has been tantamount to a hyper-extended caretaker manager spell.

And that never works.

Sel-hurt Park

Selhurst Park hasn't been a tough place to visit this season
Palace have struggled at home this season

Palace are 14th in the Premier League table and only five points clear of the relegation zone, are out of the FA Cup and have lost the backing of their supporters.

The latter is of huge concern given how reliant the club has been on home form in recent seasons.

They've already lost as many games at Selhurst in this campaign (5) as in the entirety of the previous, with Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea accounting for four of last season's defeats.

Only the three newly-promoted clubs have won fewer than Palace's three home games, only the current bottom four have lost more matches in front of their own supporters.

No wonder the fans are kicking off.

No depth

Michael Olise Palace

It would be unfair to say such poor form is all about off-field instability though.

Cheick Doucoure and Michael Olise have missed most of the season, with it unlikely the former plays again this season, while Eberechi Eze has been in and out of the side.

It now looks likely that Olise - who had been back to star in a recent 3-2 win against beleaguered Sheffield United - is set for another spell on the sidelines after coming off 10 minutes after entering the fray against Brighton at the weekend.

But three injuries shouldn't derail an entire season, with Palace simply lacking the depth to account for their absence.

Having spent £32m on goalkeeper Dean Henderson and youngster Matheus França, while also bringing in in Jefferson Lerma on a free transfer, a window in which both Wilfried Zaha and Luka Milivojevic left, it is again no shock to see supporters so frustrated.

Palace really do need signings or they could be in huge trouble come May.


Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze

Hodgson was lauded for removing the shackles to get the best from Eze and Olise last season, but that only gets you so far.

Palace's underlying data demonstrates just how badly they are struggling to create chances.

They currently average 0.80 open play expected goals (xG) per 90 minutes, meaning they aren't creating at anywhere near a high enough rate to average a goal a game from open play, a significant regression on last season's 0.97.

Odsonne Edouard has six league goals and Jordan Ayew has been chipping in with assists but there is an over-reliance on Eze and Olise to deliver those game-winning moments.

Where once it all hinged on Wilf, it's now all on Ebere and Michael. When they have struggled, or been absent, so have Palace.

Bad goalkeeping

Johnstone Palace

One positive for Palace is that their defensive underlying numbers aren't terrible. They are in the top half for non-penalty xGA per 90 this season (1.40), which ranks better than Tottenham and Manchester United, for example.

With Dean Henderson only recently returning from injury, second-choice Sam Johnstone stepped in and performed poorly.

The England international ranks as the third-worst keeper in the Premier League based on post-shot xG over/under performance, conceding 4.5 more goals than would have been expected based on the on-target attempts he faced.

With an attack not creating enough and a goalkeeper suffering from a spell of poor shot-stopping, it's a mess at both ends of the pitch.

And off it.

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