Norwegian journalist Lars Sivertsen has been speaking on the latest episode of The Guardian’s Football Weekly, where he has offered his verdict on Roy Hodgson’s future at Crystal Palace.
The former England boss is out of contract with the South London club in the summer and has previously stated that he is still ‘undecided’ over whether he will commit to a new deal.
Hodgson divides opinion amongst the Eagles fanbase, with several sections of the supporters wishing their side showed more ambition and played a more exciting, expansive game.
The 73-year-old is not alone in being out of contract in the summer, as many of his first-team squad are in the same situation and Sivertsen believes the Selhurst Park outfit have some big decisions to make over the coming months.
He said: “I do think on Palace, very briefly, they’re in a very odd place because they’re actually, on paper, having a tremendous season. Like, they’re solidly made table, they’re miles away from the relegation fight. I think their points total is higher than it usually is at this time of year. But at the same time, I do wonder, if there were fans in the stands at the stadium if they’d be very happy with the way it’s going.
“They’ve just had a lot of games where they’ve just been really terrible to watch, and I think they are in that sort of [a] bit of an identity crisis moment where it’s hard to know which direction, do you want more of this, of the Roy Hodgson experience – because you’ve got a tonne of players on contracts that are expiring in the summer.
“Basically, the whole Roy Hodgson crew, like almost the entire team are on contracts that are expiring and they haven’t re-signed. And these dudes are mainly sort of around 30 years of age – some are a few years older in some cases – and the club has a real decision in terms of who you renew and how you want to take it going forward.”
TIF Thoughts on Hodgson…
The ex-Inter, Fulham and West Brom boss has done a very good job with this Palace side, achieving two 11th-placed finishes in his four full seasons with the side.
However, it’s easy to understand why some fans are ready for a new chapter in the club’s history. The Eagles were the second-lowest scorers in the top flight last season, bagging just 31 goals in their 38 fixtures.
It could be the perfect time for the Palace hierarchy to usher in a new era with several players possibly leaving on a free transfer, and it’ll be interesting to see if they decide to make that bold decision in the summer.