Roy Hodgson begins life as Crystal Palace manager this lunchtime as he looks to try and steer what is something of a rudderless ship into slightly smoother waters. After Frank De Boer’s sacking last Monday the former England boss starts the season with a four game handicap on the rest of the division.
Today Palace without either a point or even a goal play host to a Southampton side who have been largely goal shy themselves as they have recorded three blanks in their opening four matches.
That statisitic is going to come as something of a worry to new boss Mauricio Pellegrino especially as last weekend saw them fail to register a shot until the 92nd minute, one that saw ironic cheers ring around St. Mary’s Stadium.
For Palace though it looks like the Ajax experiment will be out of the window and a return to pragmatism will rear its somewhat ugly head again. But that said if pragmatism keeps you in the Premier League then it is a price worth paying.
Neither team has been flush with goals as out of the eight matches that the two clubs have played in there has only been goals in one of them, that was Southampton’s 3-2 win over West Ham on the second weekend of the season.
With Bournemouth picking up a win over Brighton last night, it means that Palace are now at the very foot of the table and they are the only side to still get off the mark. The pressure will be on the former England boss Hodgson as th 70 year old requires a result to fully justify that his appointment was the right decision.
Should Palace lose a fifth straight fixture then people will have every right to say, why has this change been made. To be honest has anyone actually envisaged the scenario where the Eagles lose their next four games also. What happens then does Hodgson get the bullet for that also
The rollercoaster at Selhurst Park has once again been extended for another season as they find themselves again in a near status of caretakership until the end of the season. Without being agist, Hodgson is not going to be the man who builds the stepping stones that Steve Parish was looking for in the summer, if they stay up it will be another handshake and then rinse and repeat as they look for another man to take the helm.
For Southampton they have been solid but not spectacular in thier start to the season, Claude Puel was sacked at the end of last season for that very reason and the hope was that Mauricio Pellegrino’s football would be easier on the eye. That has not proved to be the case as yet and Saints fans will be hoping today can buck the trend and show a glimpse of what the club can do undering the stewardship of the former Barcelona defender.
As for the outcome something has to give this lunchtime for Palace, I’m not sure the fans will stand for another defeat especially after a change of manager in the week. It has become a must game win for Roy Hodgson straight away, that combined with Southampton’s lack of goals means it could just give the home side but it might not be very pretty. I’ll go for a slender home win.
Here is what social media thinks will happen
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 13, 2017