Having taken Crystal Palace from rock bottom of the Premier League table to the heady heights of 11th with two games left to play, Roy Hodgson has been given a fair amount of praise by the press over the last week or so but perhaps the most intriguing analysis of job the Eagles boss has done since September came from Monday Night Football pundit Gary Neville yesterday evening.
WATCH: @GNev2 on Roy Hodgson and the job he has done since arriving at Crystal Palace this season.
Is he your manager of the year? #MNFAwards
— Sky Sports MNF (@SkySportsMNF) April 30, 2018
Whilst the game is littered with ex-pros who’ve worked with Hodgson in some capacity, Neville enjoyed a privileged insight into the coaching methods and tactical ideology that the man holds dear when working with him as part of England’s backroom set-up between 2012 and 2016.
Admittedly, the Manchester United legend is unlikely to ever be swayed from the view that Sir Alex Ferguson is the best manager he’s worked under but even so, the warmth and respect he has for the current Palace boss highlights just how highly thought of the 70-year-old is amongst his peers.
Referencing an interview given by Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Wilfried Zaha a couple of months ago, Neville does a fine job of separating Hodgson from the stereotypical “journeyman” managers that he so often gets lumped in with by the uninformed masses, describing it as an “absolute insult” to the work that Roy Hodgson does on a day-to-day basis with his players.
Of course, the manner in which Roy’s time in charge of the Three Lions ended will always give his critics as easily reachable stick with which to beat him but you need only look at the reputation he has at Fulham, West Brom and now Palace to see that he is actually an extremely good club manager when given an appropriate amount of time and space in which to work.
He won’t win Manager of the Year; that accolade is almost certainly heading straight into the hands of a certain Pep Guardiola but it’s good to see someone with Neville’s profile doing everything he can to shine a light on Roy’s achievements alongside the City boss.