Hodgson’s Refusal To Make In-Game Tactical Changes Is Baffling Me

2 Posted by - September 3, 2018 - News

As any regular reader of this site will know, I have become a huge fan of Roy Hodgson since he first stepped foot into the Crystal Palace dugout back in September of 2017 but during the final few weeks of our last campaign and the start of this one, a rather worrying trend has begun to show itself in his in-game management.

Whilst the gaffer’s starting XI’s are usually well balanced and tactically sound, Roy seems to have a habit of waiting until 70 or 75 minutes of a game has passed before making changes from the substitutes’ bench, by which point, it’s often too late for the new faces to have that much of an impact on proceedings.

Before I go any further I feel it’s pertinent to mention that I’m not for one second questioning the man’s credentials; he’s been in the game close to half a century and has had great success all across Europe whilst I just run a website but as someone who’s desperate to see the team win games from week to week, I can’t help but highlight the observation.

In both of our last two league games, the main source of my personal frustration has centred around Hodgson’s insistence in keeping Jeffrey Schlupp on the field whilst the hugely talented Max Meyer is sat twiddling his thumbs on the bench. Against Watford, the boss waited until the 75th minute to make the swap, resulting in an assist for the German just three minutes later. He then started Meyer away at Swansea in midweek, watching him pull the strings across midfield throughout before once again leaving him on the sidelines whilst Schlupp started against Mark Hughes’ Southampton last weekend.

Once more, Roy waited until the 76th minute to introduce Meyer and immediately saw the team improve in an attacking sense, with the diminutive midfielder playing a key role in the move which saw Sørloth nod a header into Benteke’s path late on which really should have resulted in a dramatic equaliser. Quite why the gaffer refused to put Meyer in from the start I’m unsure of but to leave his introduction so late felt wrong on countless levels when watching on from the stands.

I’m loathe to criticise Hodgson publicly given the fantastic job he’s done to date but in this particular instance, I felt it needed saying; let’s hope it doesn’t turn into a weekly discussion.

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6 Comments

  • Rhys Jones September 3, 2018 - 6:39 am Reply

    Its funny, I was saying the same thing the other week and I had a rather odd theory on it. I wondered if it was to do with Roys age. He’s spent such a long time in the game with the use of only 1 and then 2 subs that maybe it has led to this cautious use of subs? To be honest, it is more likely he feels that any change made can be detrimental to the defensive shape/positioning of a team and changing too early allows the opposition time to nullify your initial attacking change as well. Going 2-0 with 20 to go v’s only being 1 behind with 10 to go is possibly not going to appeal to an astute, cautious manager maybe?

    I trust Roy but I do have this inner conflict of being emotionally hyper sensitive to every second of play v’s the knowledge that Roy is more in the know about everything to do with the team (fitnees, ability etc) & his understanding of the game is far superior to mine. I think Meyer is being played to get up to speed. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a tactical change after this international break as he’ll have that extra 2 weeks to work with certain players.

  • tzcar September 3, 2018 - 7:26 am Reply

    sbut i feel you are missing the crux of what roy is doing wrong.these players at present are not representing c.palace f.c.they have not turned up for any prem match this seson,yes i know we beat fulham,but we were lucky.apart from wilf in flashes. wan bassa,and hennessay,the rest are rubbish.stupid remark saying if there was anyone else but benteke,he would,nt play.roy is not opening his mind.benteke is shot.surely anyone else who at least tries is better.and schulpp,never rated him,kelly,not good enough.sako to slack and so on.is it not ironic,that when meyer,and others came on,mcarthur was released and played well.there was a freedom about our play.but for mr everything stems from your cf.i personally would,nt have benteke on the bench.he is and has been for 2 years completely shot.if he had taken golden chances available we ,d have beaten southampton.so i feel at present roy,s career rests on what he does with benteke.if he carries on playing him,then the results will stay the same,and he,d be gone.roy must wake up and get his act together before were in another relegation fight.

  • Tim September 3, 2018 - 8:31 am Reply

    Agree with this analysis.
    Meyer should have started or brought on at half time. He’s clearly very talented and we need a midfield general. We have no plan ‘B’ when Wilf is absent. Home to Southampton should be a 3 pointer.

  • A tarrant September 3, 2018 - 2:03 pm Reply

    If hodgson keeps playing benteki he will be dragged down him

  • Mick September 3, 2018 - 3:12 pm Reply

    I couldn’t agree more. The Southampton and Watford games screamed out for changes. Kouyate and Meyer made a difference on Saturday but it was much too late. I would start Meyer ahead of Schlupp every time

  • The Expat Eagle September 3, 2018 - 6:10 pm Reply

    I would think the reason Meyer didn’t start is because he played 90 minutes on Tuesday and he still isn’t 100% match fit so starting him in a PL game 4 days after his first 90 minutes was risky.

    We’ve seen it many times before that late signings tend to not be starters until after the first international window.

    This isn’t our first BBQ people, why the mystery?

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