Palace boss Roy Hodgson has dismissed any chance of Wilfried Zaha or Christian Benteke leaving Crystal Palace this January after being asked for what felt like the 5,653rd time by the press following our defeat to Arsenal.
Despite Wilf himself, Steve Parish and Roy having all written off the possibility of the winger leaving Selhurst Park in the current transfer window, some comments from former Palace boss Frank de Boer which suggested that the 25-year-old was more than good enough to play for Liverpool appear to have reignited speculation over him leaving SE25.
Predictably, given the fact that he had just seen his team beaten 4-1 by Arsenal, Roy gave the offending question the sort of answer it deserved, pointing out the flimsiness of the reasoning behind it and reiterating in unequivocal fashion that Wilf is going nowhere.
Unsurprisingly, the Palace gaffer was then quizzed on the immediate future of Christian Benteke who, despite a dreadful run in front of goal is supposedly a January transfer target for Chelsea. Given the fact that the Belgian remains our only fit out-and-out striker you would have thought that the press had already worked out Hodgson’s stance on the matter but in a bid to ensure there were no crossed wires, Roy batted away any talk of the big man leaving with the sort of withering disdain that has made me grow to love him over this last four months.
January is a dreadful month to be a football fan. It’s a time when tittle-tattle and baseless speculation take precedence over thoughtful and well-researched reporting, allowing all manner of weird and wonderful possibilities to be cooked up in the minds of those who generate the daily news. For a man of Roy’s experience I can imagine it’s a hugely frustrating time; ask him about the intricacies of the game and he’ll happily talk for hours but press him to comment on what is in essence a lie being used to generate web traffic and you’re more than likely to be treated with a sense of apathy from the get-go.
We may have lost last weekend’s game in rather dramatic fashion but Hodgson’s post-match responses have just made me admire him more. Feel free to disagree with me if you’d like but I honestly feel as though we now have the perfect man in charge of Crystal Palace FC.