Perhaps it was the nature of Palace’s defeat against Watford on Saturday but when speaking to the press shortly after the final whistle had sounded, Roy Hodgson couldn’t help but hit out at the false transfer rumours surrounding the club over the last week or two.
Since leaving Bournemouth to join Glasgow Rangers, Jermain Defoe has gone on record saying that he snubbed interest from Crystal Palace to make the switch north of the border; a story that Eagles gaffer Hodgson categorically denies. Whilst Roy can often be quite cutting with his comments in the media, it’s rare for him to truly lose his cool but on this particular occasion, it’s clear that he had some things to get off his chest.
Having to write about and scrutinise the same stories on a daily basis running HLTCO, I can certainly sympathise with the Palace boss, given the fact that you’re never quite sure who it is driving the rumour from behind the scenes. Football has so many moving parts and interested parties these days that a line can appear in a newspaper or online having been planted there by an agent or journalist, without a care in the world over whether or not it’s certifiably true.
Window after window, we see Palace linked with the same players as West Ham; it’s become something of a running joke for both fan-bases but in reality, there’s simply no way that both clubs can have concrete interest in so many of the same targets. Our needs may appear similar to those on the outside looking in, prompting our names to be mentioned in the same breath but as Hodgson says above, Sky Sports News have a lot to answer for on that front.
I’m sure Palace are in for players this January, given the lack of goals we’re scoring we simply have to be but I can certainly empathise with the gaffer if ageing strikers like Defoe are bringing our name into stories to give them an added dimension without any real grounding in fact. Would Roy have been quite as scathing if we’d beaten Watford rather than losing 2-1? Probably not but that’s the nature of the beast.