When Roy Hodgson arrived at Crystal Palace in September of 2017, the Eagles were staring relegation in the face but now, with one game to spare, Roy and his coaching staff have secured the club’s Premier League status for a sixth straight year, prompting Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino to claim that the 70-year-old is the rightful recipient of the Manager of the Year award.
#thfc Pochettino also says there should be 2 Manager of the Year awards: "If we only see the trophies? Of course it’s Guardiola. And with all the context? If we analyse every club, with circumstance, I think it’s Roy Hodgson."
— Ben Pearce (@BenPearceSpurs) May 4, 2018
Whilst the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Sean Dyche are already regularly being spoken about in line with the accolade, it is the Argentine’s belief that the former England gaffer has pulled off the biggest miracle of anyone this term by transforming a seemingly doomed group of players into the well-oiled machine that sent Stoke City down on their own pitch over the weekend.
Having spoken shortly after Hodgson’s players tore Leicester City to shreds in a 5-0 thrashing at Selhurst Park, Pochettino’s comments certainly stand up to scrutiny from my point of view. Of course, the likes of Guardiola and Klopp have worked wonders, winning the Premier League title and reaching a Champions League final respectively, whilst Dyche has taken Burnley to Europe on a relative shoe-string but in Hodgson, Palace have a manager who has pulled off what had previously appeared to be an impossible task.
It’s easy to downplay the scale of his achievements with the benefit of hindsight but when he first stepped foot in the Selhurst dugout, there wasn’t a single pundit or fan who gave Palace a snow-cone in hell’s chance of staying afloat. Throw in the ridiculous number of injuries Roy has been forced to contend with, alongside a worryingly poor January transfer window and the consistency he’s managed to drag out of his players is all the more astounding.
I’d be very surprised if Roy is given the honour of Manager of the Year ahead of his aforementioned contemporaries but it’s good to know that a man with the standing of Pochettino is on the same wave-length as many Palace fans.