Are Crystal Palace gaining momentum under Roy Hodgson?
Roy Hodgson was appointed the Crystal Palace boss on September 12th after summer recruit Frank de Boer was, arguably very unfairly, sacked following just four Premier League games in charge. The Dutchman lost all four of his league games in charge of the Eagles, which included home defeats at the hands of both Huddersfield Town and Swansea City.
Although de Boer did clinch one victory in charge of Palace in the EFL Cup, his tenure was cut very short as he was dismissed after only 77 days in charge. Steve Parish and co. grew impatient with de Boer's style of play and decided to turn to the very experienced Roy Hodgson.
The 70-year-old did not have the best of starts as he lost his opening three Premier League games in charge to Southampton and both Manchester clubs. However, Palace claimed their first points and goals of the campaign when reigning champions, Chelsea, visited South London in October.
To everyone's surprise, especially the Palace fans, the Eagles ran out 2-1 winners thanks to a winner from Wilfried Zaha. Palace are unbeaten at Selhurst Park since, having picked up a point against both West Ham and Everton, and they claimed all three when they beat Stoke 2-1 thanks to a 92nd-minute winner from Mamadou Sakho last time out.
Hodgson and his team also claimed their first clean sheet and away point of the current Premier League campaign when they battled out a 0-0 draw with fierce rivals, Brighton, last night at the Amex. Despite Palace starting to put points on the board, some of their results have not been justified with the result at the end. For example, if it wasn't for a phenomenal Joe Hart, Palace would have taken all three points from the Hammers as oppose to just the one. The story was the same during their home fixture against Everton, the Eagles would have again tasted victory if Niasse hadn't dived to win his side a penalty and ultimately clinch a draw; Niasse was later on banned for two matches as a result of his dive.
There has been a clear change of performance and a huge boost in confidence within this Palace side. Many would have doubted Hodgson after the torrid end to his England tenure, but there is no doubt he is taking this club in the right direction. You can't help but feel that if they recruit the right players in January, securing a record sixth-straight season in the Premier League is a very realistic target.