Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has added long-time confidant and colleague Barry Simmonds to the club’s scouting team as he and Dougie Freedman continue to revamp things behind the scenes in SE25.
Simmonds worked with Roy at Fulham and played a big role in the identification of players like Moussa Dembele, Zoltan Gera and Chris Smalling, earning the gaffer’s trust along the way. Indeed, Hodgson was so impressed with Simmonds that he took him into the England set-up when he got the nod, trusting him to provide information on opposition players ahead of Three Lions fixtures.
Last week saw the announcement that Chief Scout Tim Coe had left his role at Selhurst Park after five years, as the club look to embark upon a new, statistic-based form of recruitment, spearheaded by Technical Director, Freedman. The Scotsman has already brought David Sclandlers back into the fold after taking him to Bolton in 2012 and has also moved to appoint Kevin Gallen to the scouting contingent, with Simmonds just another piece of an ever-expanding jigsaw.
Whilst Palace have found a fair few quality players in recent years, there doesn’t appear to have been a hugely cohesive approach to our recruitment plans, with these changes hinting that the January window may well see a vastly different approach.
Logically, a committee of voices is always likely to be better than a singular perspective when it comes to the business of signing players, eliminating the chance of individual prejudice getting in the way of progress. With this new-look team in place we should, in theory, be well set for the winter window when it arrives.
I’ll certainly be looking on with intrigue.