Premier League English

Roy Hodgson ‘strong contender for surprise return’ after Patrick Vieira’s departure

Former Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is apparently touted as a ‘strong contender’ to return to the club following the sacking of Patrick Vieira on Friday morning with 12th-placed Crystal Palace just three points clear of the relegation zone.

The Eagles have been winless in the Premier League since New Year’s Eve, having had five draws and six defeats since their last victory, which came against AFC Bournemouth.

They are up against Arsenal this weekend, which would be their final game before the international break hits.

Latest reports are that Palace under-21 manager Paddy McCarthy will be given the opportunity to lead the club to Premier League safety after Viera’s departure and the further indication is that McCarthy ‘could land the job on an interim basis until the end of the season if he impresses’.

Palace are allegedly looking at alternative options, in the meantime with David Ornstein of The Athletic reporting that former Eagles manager Hodgson is a ‘strong contender’ for the vacancy.

Hodgson previously spent four years as Palace’s manager and departed the club prior to the 2021/22 campaign. The 75-year-old doyen would ‘take charge of the relegation-threatened club until the end of the season’ and this would be ‘considered a surprise return’.

Additionally the report states: “Other candidates will also be assessed as the situation is evaluated by the Palace hierarchy over the coming days.”

Sky Sports states that Hodgson is ‘in talks to return’ to Crystal Palace.

Allegedly Palace ‘have spoken to a number of candidates, including Adi Hutter (former Borussia Monchengladbach boss)’ but Hodgson is the ‘clear frontrunner’.

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has told Sky Sports that they are “not looking past” this weekend’s game vs Arsenal.

“Football is a strange game as things can very quickly start not going right. When you feel you can’t get out of a rut, unfortunately then you’ve got to change something,” Parish said.

“Maybe things might have changed [for the better] anyway, but I couldn’t be sure of it so I’ve made the call I have and we move forward from here.

“Everybody loved Patrick, he never lost the players at all. They were still running for him but things weren’t happening. We’re just hoping now that there is some fresh impetus, a few different ideas.

“Maybe we can surprise the opposition by doing something different as we’ve got good players and have got a good squad. They followed Patrick and now they will follow Paddy [McCarthy] and Darren [Powell] to do the best for the football club.

“The mood is never bad and everyone is positive and believe we can win matches. Everyone is still positive for the game against Arsenal on Sunday. We’re not looking past Sunday. We’re not interviewing managers while we have the current set-up as that would be disrespectful.

“We want to give Paddy and Darren a clear run at it on Sunday. We’ve got our own list and that kind of thing but our focus is on facing Arsenal.”