News

Roy Hodgson is on the mend and recovering well after falling ill during Crystal Palace training – as the club plot their next chapter with Oliver Glasner set to be appointed


Most importantly, Roy Hodgson is recovering well. ‘Feeling better now,’ was the encouraging message received by Mail Sport over the weekend following a worrying episode that is likely to see the esteemed coach finally hang up his stopwatch and whistle.

So, there is some discomfort about Crystal Palace preparing for life without their manager while he overcomes a health scare. But, as inappropriate as it seems, football moves on.

Hodgson knows that as well as anyone. Those who have foolishly written off the former England boss as a ‘dinosaur’ do not appreciate how he has continued to reinvent himself to stay relevant for close to half a century.

Yet, those who have criticised Palace for preparing to appoint Oliver Glasner as Hodgson’s replacement are probably being a little hasty. The process of appointing Glasner was underway before Hodgson collapsed in front of his players and staff during training on Friday.

Reports that Palace had agreed a deal with Glasner hours after Hodgson’s scare were greeted with disdain at Selhurst Park. ‘Disrespectful. Roy is still in hospital,’ said one Palace official as news of Glasner’s imminent appointment gathered traction. 

Roy Hodgson is recovering well after he fell ill during a Crystal Palace training session

Roy Hodgson is recovering well after he fell ill during a Crystal Palace training session

Palace began the process of appointing Oliver Glasner before Hodgson's worrying collapse

Palace began the process of appointing Oliver Glasner before Hodgson’s worrying collapse

But Palace cannot deny a decision on Hodgson’s future was close to being made prior to the concern over his health. He was expected to be replaced following Monday’s Premier League clash with Everton.

There is nothing wrong with that. Football clubs must preserve their futures. It is possible to be respectful to a man woven into Palace’s recent history and also to prepare for what’s coming. There is a line to tread in terms of sensitivity in such an unusual situation. But Palace have tried to control the narrative of their next appointment.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Glasner will take the reins after signing a two-and-a-half year deal. The 49-year-old’s immediate task will be to ensure the club’s survival. Everton, who are in the relegation zone, would move to within two points of Palace with victory at Goodison Park.

Everton manager Sean Dyche sees the bigger picture, though. ‘I wish Roy well,’ he said. ‘He is a great guy who I respect greatly. It’s an important game to us but bigger than the game is Roy’s health and I hope he comes through this with no problems.’

Glasner will have to steer Palace to safety without the team’s most potent attacking player, with Michael Olise nursing a long-term hamstring injury – though key duo Eberechi Eze (hamstring) and Marc Guehi (knee) are close to returns. Cheick Doucoure (knee) is also unavailable.

Hodgson is likely to hang up his stopwatch and whistle after his episode but is on the mend

Hodgson is likely to hang up his stopwatch and whistle after his episode but is on the mend

Palace (pictured: chairman Steve Parish) were expected to replace Hodgson in the near future

Palace (pictured: chairman Steve Parish) were expected to replace Hodgson in the near future

Indeed, the club’s injury problems are understood to have made a number of other candidates hesitant about succeeding Hodgson in recent weeks.

How Glasner navigates the issue will, perhaps, be the decisive factor in how the former Eintracht Frankfurt boss fares at the start of his reign. But if he can weather the storm and lead Palace to safety, he will be expected to implement a brand of football to satisfy supporters’ calls for greater entertainment.

Hodgson has worked wonders in preserving Palace’s top-flight status during two separate spells, but some fans feel there is plenty of attacking potential to unlock.

Glasner will be expected to replicate Hodgson’s success in keeping Palace in the Premier League – but he’ll be asked to do it with a swagger. 

The financial benefits of Glasner fulfilling those ambitions are clear. The millions earned from 10 successive years in the Premier League has left the club on a solid footing. But Palace remain a selling club and need their team set up in such a way that allows their players to exhibit their talents to the highest bidder.

For instance, the club’s marquee summer signing Matheus Franca, who will cost up to £26million, has hardly played this season, meaning his market value has plummeted. Clubs such as Palace can ill-afford such busts in the transfer market.

Glasner will have to navigate Palace's injury crisis with his first objective securing their safety

Glasner will have to navigate Palace’s injury crisis with his first objective securing their safety

What Glasner brings is a track record of improving players to be sold on. 

During his time with Eintracht Frankfurt, the coach signed Randal Kolo Muani from Nantes on a free transfer in the summer of 2022. The striker was sold to Paris Saint-Germain in a deal worth £73million in September. In 2022, left winger Filip Kostic was sold to Juventus. Last year, attacking midfielder Jesper Lindstrom, coveted by a number of English teams, was signed by Napoli for £21.5m.

As cynical as it sounds, that will be attractive to Palace – though Glasner’s history of publicly calling out his superiors over transfer frustrations should spark caution in south London.

But the fact he was courted by Ajax, Marseille and Lyon over the summer is indicative of the sort of coup Palace believe they are about to pull off. His preference for playing 3-4-2-1 may be challenged during the early stages of his reign; Palace’s squad has been built around playing four at the back.

Glasner will have to be adaptable in the short term as he assesses his options, while the prospect of Guehi’s future becoming an issue as he enters the final two years of his contract is another headache. 

But there will be money to spend on players in the summer, a sum that may be supplemented by a high-profile exit. For Glasner, the thrills and spills of Premier League management will be frenetic. If he needs any guidance, he could do worse than give Hodgson a call.



Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button