5 things Roy Hodgson needs to address at Crystal Palace
Ex-England boss appointed on two-year-deal
Following the departure of Frank de Boer from Selhurst Park on Monday, Roy Hodgson is the new man in the Crystal Palace hotseat.
Hodgson joins the Eagles with a wealth of experience. He started his managerial career in 1976 with Halmstads in Sweden and most recently was manager of England.
His latest task at Crystal Palace is difficult, but not impossible.
The Coral News Team look at five things Hodgson will need to address in South London…
A more pragmatic approach
Palace need to stop being so gung-ho. The Eagles have conceded seven goals already this season from just four games. Plus, goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has been forced into the second highest number of saves by any goalkeeper so far this season with 18.
That defensive record is married to an average of over 14 shots per game up the other end. With no goals to their name so far, it’s clear that Palace need to strike a better balance at both ends of the field. Hodgson is known to be a more pragmatic manager and will help with that.
Firing up Christian Benteke
A player of Benteke’s quality should be scoring more goals. The Belgian hasn’t found the net yet this season, while a tally of 15 in the last campaign is short of what the 26-year-old is capable of.
In Hodgson, the 6ft 3in frontman could find an unlikely saviour. From his time with England, Hodgson has genuine experience of managing high-profile players. His presence should boost the frontman’s confidence.
Making the most of the wingers
In Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend, Crystal Palace have two genuine wide threats. But until now they’ve not been able to produce the goods on a consistent basis. With Hodgson in charge, that may change.
For Townsend in particular, the appointment of the ex-England manager could be crucial. Why? Well the ex-Newcastle United ace excelled for the Three Lions under Hodgson. He made 13 appearances for England in four years under the new Palace boss and always looked dangerous on the wing. He’ll need to rediscover that form if the South Londoners want to move up the table.
Cut out the mistakes
The Eagles have made three mistakes which have led directly to goals so far this season. That can’t continue. With Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all to come in the next month, Palace will need to sharpen up. And fast.
If Hodgson cannot organise the defence properly, Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata could run riot. A defence of Mamadou Sakho, Scott Dann and Joel Ward has the makings of a competent backline. Pape Souare is also due to return soon after a long lay-off, which will only help Hodgson’s cause.
Sort out the home form
Selhurst Park needs to become a fortress again. For too long, SE25 has been an easy place to go and collect three points. Palace have only won one of their last five home league games. Go back further and that extends to eight in 31, including 19 defeats. For a club that has ambitions of pushing towards the top-half, that is nowhere near good enough.
Palace have the players and the support, they just need to make it all click on the field. Hodgson won 11 home games two seasons in a row with Fulham. He’ll need to find the formula to replicate that if Palace are to move up the table.
Crystal Palace are 2/1 with Coral to pick up their first win of the season at home to Southampton this weekend.
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