Sensational would be an understatement to the job done by Roy Hodgson and his coaching staff to keep Crystal Palace in the Premier League. The eagles soared to safety despite losing their opening 7 games of the season. Roy Hodgson ignited the entire football club something which Frank De Boer couldn’t do. The players were playing as team and for the fans with Selhurst Park rocking for much of the season constantly making it a difficult place to go as many teams including Chelsea found out. However, Roy Hodgson and the Palace fans will hope they can do much better this season and avoid the relegation battle entirely. Roy Hodgson will certainly be aiming for a better season overall and a potential top 10 finish which isn’t out of Palace’s remit.
Roy Hodgson transformed Palace’s playing style making them solid defensively and dangerous on the counter attack with glimpses of intricate, lovely passing football. There is a really good balance of different players at Palace and Hodgson has created implemented a style suited to all the players at his disposal. Palace’s solid foundation was built on the solid defensive partnership between Mamadou Sakho and James Tomkins making Palace difficult to break down. However, solid performances from Joel Ward and Patrick Van Aanholt also allowed Palace to have consistency in defence with latter contributing significantly further up the pitch. However, it is role of Luka Milivojevic which was unnoticed by many other clubs, but the Palace fans adore the solid Serbian in their midfield making significant contributions across all areas of the pitch and more crucially finished as Palace’s top scorer. However, his defensive work was also brilliant in Palace’s resurrection. Despite this, Crystal Palace wouldn’t be where they are without the brilliant Wilfried Zaha. He has endless talent which was never witnessed by Manchester United, but everything clicks for him at Crystal Palace and he has certainly got better as each season passes by. He is the spark in this Palace side and he is adored by all associated with the club and Zaha has the same affection in return which makes them a match made in heaven. However, with interest from the bigger clubs, Crystal Palace will have difficulty trying to keep him at the club. Hodgson certainly built his team around the exciting winger and even played his in the number 9 role at times during the season but despite Zaha, playing at times in an unconventional role, he dragged Palace towards safety in style.
The transfer window is certainly an important period for every football club and
Crystal Palace are no different with signings needed for Palace to remain competitive in the league. Roy Hodgson will certainly want to boost his forward line as to lift the weight off Zaha’s shoulders. Goal shortages for the likes off Christian Benteke, Alexander Sorloth and injuries for Connor Wickham left Palace severely short of goals and Hodgson will desperate to sign a regular goal scorer in his team. Also, Hodgson will certainly look to strengthen Palace’s midfield following Yohan Cabaye and Bakary Sako decisions to depart the club and the conclusion off Ruben Loftus-Cheek's loan. Hodgson will certainly need some creativity in his midfield with other potential departures on the horizon with interest in Andros Townsend but I’m confident Roy Hodgson will have targets lined up to strengthen his Palace squad with experienced goalkeeper Vicente Guaita already signed. In addition, Roy Hodgson will look for players willing to play for the shirt, fans and the team itself because this is the ideals Hodgson has installed since he became Palace boss. He will be determined to get the club he supported and watched as a young man away from danger and challenging for a top half finish, but he will need players who share his philosophies and want to succeed as much as he does.
Crystal Palace are in safe hands with a fan as their manager and they will want to build on the success of survival with another spirited team who want to do better week in week out. The palace fans are magnificent and will support their team whatever direction their team’s season heads in. Crystal Palace have stability and a confidence around the whole club and the eagles will hope to soar once again in the new season.