Roy Hodgson had pulled no punches whatsoever in summing up the work Crystal Palace’s players will need to put in if they are to forget their awful start to the season and survive for another year in the Premier League by May.
Speaking to the press after Palace’s 4-0 defeat against Manchester United on Saturday, the former England boss claimed that the players will have to “run their bollocks off” if they are to work their way out of the slump they now find themselves in; which to be quite honest, is music to my ears.
Forced to go up against Jose Mourinho’s Reds without the services of Christian Benteke, WIlfried Zaha, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Scott Dann or Timothy Fosu-Mensah, it had always looked an incredibly stiff task for the beleaguered Eagles, not that Hodgson will have seen much in the team’s overall display to suggest that they stand much hope of clawing their way out of their current predicament.
Having started former Wolves man Bakary Sako up front by himself, Roy threw 24-year-old Freddie Ladapo into the mix midway through the second period but with the team seemingly unable to carve out any real chances to score, we were left counting down the minutes until Mike Dean mercifully blew the final whistle.
A great deal of football comes down to momentum and we must not forget the huge blow we’ve suffered in losing Zaha and Benteke for such extended periods but with the team now the sole holders of the record for the worst start to a league season in English football history, I think we can all forgive our fans for expressing feelings of anger towards those in charge.
The long and short of it is that our overall strength in depth is nowhere near what you would expect for a club playing in their fifth consecutive season in England’s top flight; the fault for that lays at the feet of numerous people but Roy Hodgson is definitely not one of them.
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