The Baggies View: Roy is a Great Appointment for Crystal Palace

Written by Daniel McCulloch

 West Brom fan Daniel McCulloch can understand why Palace appointed Roy Hodgson, who had a significant impact at the club. 


From an outsiders perspective relieving Frank Dr Boer of his duties after such a dominant performance - according to every metric other than the most important one - against Burnley seems very harsh. Clearly, there were plenty of off the pitch issues but purely looking at performances I believe he would have turned it around for Crystal Palace. That said his replacement Roy Hodgson, who I am far more familiar with, appears to be a great appointment.

I have heard many pundits and journalists compare Roy with the insufferable Tony Pulis, who is currently curing insomnia for a large number of Black Country residents. I believe such an analogy to be harsh on the former England manager as during his relatively brief spell at The Hawthorns - he managed us for just 50 league games - the style of football was a great deal more pleasurable than we are currently experiencing under the capped one.

Hodgson took over from Roberto Di Matteo in February 2011. Having started that season well, The Albion were on the slide, winning just one of their ten previous matches to mean just goal difference separated them from the relegation zone. Such was the turnaround under Roy - 20 points were taken from the final 12 games - that we were mathematically safe with three games to go.

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Moreover, it is worth noting that we only kept one clean sheet across the dozen games as whilst he took a pragmatic approach on occasion, he recognised that in the shape of Jerome Thomas, Carlos Vela and Peter Odemwingie, we possessed a lot of attacking talent that would be wasted if isolated alone up front. This is in complete contrast to Tony Pulis, who takes a batten down the hatches approach to almost every game, irrespective of the quality of the opposition or within his whole squad.

Like us six years ago, I believe Palace are better going forward than they are defensively. Admittedly, you have failed to score this season, but it is a very small sample of games. You have had 57 shots and been victim to some great goalkeeping and inexplicable misses. You also have arguably the best attacking player outwith the top six clubs to come back into your side.

Roy will be aware of this and whilst he will obviously look to improve your defensive shape – which new manager doesn’t? – I would be surprised if he didn’t give your attacking players greater licence than they enjoyed under Pulis or Sam Allardyce for that matter.

Under Hodgson, we scored 67 goals in 50 matches, a far better return than we have endured under our current manager (exactly a goal a game). Additionally, we actually managed more points away from home as he managed to use our speed in wide areas to great effect. Palace are also blessed in such positions and I would be surprised if your away record did not improve under him.

Off the pitch, Roy conducted himself with dignity throughout his time at the club. He was not bitter after his acrimonious spell as Liverpool manager, so whilst I don’t expect the wounds of the Iceland defeat to ever leave him, I am sure he will become a firm crowd favourite fairly quickly.

Palace have some tough games coming up but I would be shocked if your flirtation with the relegation zone hasn’t ended come November. Roy gave our fans some great days out – the 5-1 win at Molinuex lives long in the memory – and hopefully your fans will be just as jubilant this season. Either way, I am confident that his appointment will coincide with an improvement to my Betfair balance!