Crystal Palace bank on Roy Hodgson in bid to reunite splintered fanbase | Ed Aarons

The 75-year-old’s return may not be popular with supporters, but it’s what chairman Steve Parish feels is required to avoid relegation

For Crystal Palace supporters scratching their heads about Roy Hodgson’s surprise return as manager, it is worth revisiting Steve Parish’s comments when the former England manager left his post in May 2021. “His record with us simply cannot be overstated,” said the Palace chairman. “He is the only Palace manager to secure four years in the Premier League and he has helped give us stability in the most turbulent of times.”

Having first visited Selhurst Park as a six-year-old in the 1950s, and briefly trained with the club’s youth team before embarking on his globetrotting career, Hodgson was eventually reunited with his boyhood club as manager in September 2017 with the team bottom after losing their first four matches under Frank de Boer. He guided them to 11th and subsequently was awarded the freedom of Croydon. Yet even the 75-year-old, whose last managerial spell at Watford ended in relegation following a run of two wins in 18 games, may have been surprised when the SOS call came from Parish for a second time after Patrick Vieira’s dismissal on Friday.

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