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‘Football man’ Hodgson leaves Palace with ‘head held high’

‘Football man’ Hodgson leaves Palace with ‘head held high’

Crystal Palace fans hold up posters thanking Roy Hodgson during their Premier League game at Everton on Monday
Crystal Palace fans held up posters thanking Roy Hodgson during their Premier League game at Everton on Monday

Roy Hodgson can leave Crystal Palace with his “head held high”, says former Premier League striker Chris Sutton.

Hodgson has managed 17 clubs and four national teams in a 48-year career and has overseen 416 Premier League games.

“He’s had an incredible managerial career,” Sutton, who was managed by Hodgson at Blackburn, told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club.

“He was a superb organiser and a brilliant coach. He was the first manager that I ever did double sessions with and also real patterns of play. He went into every detail.

“He’s had one hell of an appetite for the game. Football is a drug and he obviously loves management. In some respects I hope he puts his feet up and relaxes now.

“It isn’t sour at the end but I think he deserved more from the Crystal Palace fans this season in my opinion.”

‘A privilege to work with him’

Hodgson was in his second spell as Palace boss after leading the club between 2017 and 2021.

He returned to Selhurst Park when his replacement Patrick Vieira was sacked last season with the Eagles 12th in the Premier League, but only three points clear of the relegation zone.

Hodgson guided them to 11th and finished 11 points clear of the bottom three.

This season has been trickier for Hodgson, with Palace fans protesting at how the club is being run after 10 defeats in their past 16 Premier League games prior to his departure.

Rumours started to circulate last Thursday that he was going to be sacked and replaced by Glasner, but he fell ill at the training ground and was admitted to hospital.

He has now returned home and is “doing well”, said the statement that announced his departure.

Palace are away at Everton on Monday night, with Hodgson’s assistants Ray Lewington and Paddy McCarthy leading the side before Glasner takes over – and the Austrian manager watching from the stands.

“He is lifelong Crystal Palace fan and he wore his heart on his sleeve,” said McCarthy.

“He came to work with enthusiasm every day and it is obviously disappointing that he couldn’t see out the season but his enthusiasm and knowledge was infectious and we’re all privileged to have worked with him.

“He’s a fantastic football man and we’re just delighted that he’s on the mend, that he’s in good health and hopefully we can give him a good send-off.”

Palace captain Joel Ward told Sky Sports that Hodgson has been “integral to this club” and he will always “be a part of the club’s history”.

In the statement announcing his departure chairman Steve Parish said the club “owe our continued Premier League status to Roy” and “Roy has the keys to Selhurst Park and will always be welcomed back”.

Hodgson is ‘unique’

Hodgson’s managerial career started in 1976 with Swedish side Halmstad and he went on to manage clubs in Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Denmark and seven sides in England.

He has won 15 major honours, including two Swedish titles with Malmo, and finished as runner-up in the Uefa Cup with Inter Milan in 1997 and the Europa League with Fulham in 2010.

Hodgson’s first international job was with Switzerland in 1992 before spells with the United Arab Emirates and Finland.

He became England boss in May 2012, winning 33 of his 56 games in charge, but failed to end their wait for a first trophy since 1966.

“Roy is unique in a number of ways,” said Jamie Carragher, who was managed by Hodgson at Liverpool, on Sky Sports.

“Most importantly there are not many English managers respected across the world, and across European football, like him.

“Also he was not just managing at 76, which is phenomenal, he is coaching at that age. I know from my experience at Liverpool and last season at Palace he was still on the training pitch day in and day out.

“The fact Roy is OK is most important for the whole football family.”

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