EPL

Roy Hodgson says Crystal Palace future is out of his hands after Arsenal defeat

By Sports Desk January 20, 2024

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson deflected to the club’s decision-makers when asked if his side’s crushing 5-0 defeat at Arsenal could raise questions about his job security.

Substitute Gabriel Martinelli buried the Eagles with two goals inside two minutes of second-half stoppage time, adding to Gabriel and Leandro Trossard’s earlier efforts and a Dean Henderson own goal that all-but guaranteed the hosts victory before half-time.

As Palace defender Chris Richards nodded over a chance to claw back a late consolation, away supporters raised a banner reading “wasted potential on and off the pitch, weak decisions taking us backwards” while another protested “no shared vision, no structured plan”.

Hodgson, when asked if he felt he had unified support of his boyhood club’s board and those above, replied: “That’s a question for them, isn’t it? But if you’re asking me if I’ve ever felt a lack of support from them, then the answer is no.

“I think they’ve been good, but I mean now in [the] situation that you’re obviously discussing, in this scenario you’re envisaging, that’s going to be a question for them.”

He later added: “When a team isn’t doing as well as it should be doing, someone needs to be held responsible, and that’s the manager.”

The Eagles’ vital victory over Brentford to end 2023 and snap an eight-game winless streak seemed to subdue Hodgson’s critics, but Saturday’s result will no doubt loudly revive that chorus, particularly following on from their midweek third-round FA Cup replay loss to Everton in which the former England manager controversially substituted the influential Eberechi Eze.

While he and his players felt there were “infringements” ignored by referee Paul Tierney in the build-up to the opening pair of goals, Hodgson took the blame for Martinelli’s quickfire brace, admitting he had perhaps erred in removing some of his tiring starters in favour of “young lads, and it was too much to ask them to go on and deal with a rampant Arsenal”.

Hodgson understood the frustration from the disillusioned Palace fanbase, adding: “All I can say is I think they are totally entitled to their opinion in that respect. I do understand their frustration, even anger and disappointment, and things haven’t gone better.

“We can make our excuses which we’ve been doing because certain things have worked against us in this period of time, but the bottom line is that if we’re going to go forward and avoid relegation and do well, we need those fans with us. Hopefully we can do our best to keep them on board.”

Arsenal, meanwhile, avoided a fourth-straight defeat across all competitions and kept within striking distance of the Premier League title.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was particularly pleased with the way his side worked their set-pieces in their first top-flight meeting of 2024, saying: “Credit to all the coaches, to Nico [Jover, set-piece coach] for the amount of time and belief we put in.

“It’s got a huge impact. We’ve seen that as well in recent games that we’ve lost when we’ve conceded set-pieces, so the outcome is very different when you don’t concede and score.

“We wanted to start the second part of the season with a great performance, with a great result, and build that positivity and momentum again, and I think the boys did a good job today.”

Related items

  • Jurgen Klopp cites impact of Man Utd games as Liverpool lose title race momentum Jurgen Klopp cites impact of Man Utd games as Liverpool lose title race momentum

    Jurgen Klopp cited the impact of damaging results against rivals Manchester United following Liverpool’s recent loss of momentum in the title race.

    The Reds conceded more ground at the top of the Premier League as they suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

    It capped a highly frustrating week for the Merseysiders after a draw at United last weekend and a humbling Europa League loss to Atalanta on Thursday.

    Klopp, however, pinpointed another result at Old Trafford – the dramatic FA Cup loss that ended Liverpool’s quadruple bid last month – as where they started to run out of steam.

    The German said: “I think the problem is, a little bit, that I’m not 100 per cent sure that, in general, how we dealt with the United games helped.

    “We lost the game in the cup and it was like a catastrophe because we were that good and lost it anyway.

    “Then we drew there but were really good for a long spell. We have conceded a little bit.

    “That’s now not the reason for today, the problems we had in the United games were completely different to the things we had today, but obviously we expected a reaction.

    “We lost in that (United) game more than only the game. It didn’t help.”

    Klopp felt his side were not at their best against Palace, who capitalised on a strong start to take a 14th-minute lead through Eberechi Eze.

    Yet the hosts still created a number of chances, particularly in the second half, only to be thwarted by a combination of poor finishing or stubborn Palace defending.

    Klopp said: “The goal we conceded – he (Eze) ends up completely free in the box, that cannot happen. We had other moments where we were just not together.

    “The second half is a really good home game. I’m not sure they had chances but we had a lot – big ones where everybody would think that should be a goal, and other moments where we were nearly there.

    “We had momentum, we could put them under pressure, but in the end it was not enough. We have to admit that.

    “What it means for the title race – I am not dumb. The answer is pretty easy. If we play like in the first half, why should we win the league? If we play like in the second half, we can win football games.”

    Palace’s victory was only their second in seven matches under new manager Oliver Glasner but it eased their fears of being sucked into a relegation battle.

    Glasner said: “It is a fantastic win and congratulations to the team for the performance and first half, for the performance in playing football and the confidence we had and the chances we created.

    “And congratulations for the passion and spirit we had in the second. We had a fantastic goalkeeper today in Dean (Henderson) and an outstanding passion today to defend as a team.

    “That is the reason we kept the clean sheet and won this game.”

  • Debutant George Earthy taken to hospital after West Ham’s loss to Fulham Debutant George Earthy taken to hospital after West Ham’s loss to Fulham

    West Ham teenager George Earthy was taken to hospital after suffering a horror head injury just two minutes into his Premier League debut.

    The 19-year-old had just come on as a substitute when he collided with team-mate Edson Alvarez in the middle of the field.

    Earthy fell to the ground awkwardly and appeared to have been knocked out cold, sparking worrying scenes as medics and team-mates rushed to help the stricken youngster.

    After receiving treatment for eight minutes, Earthy was carried off on a stretcher. He was conscious when he was taken out of the London Stadium in an ambulance around 20 minutes after full-time.

    The Hammers said: “West Ham United can confirm George Earthy will undergo an assessment in a London hospital this evening following the incident which saw him stretchered off during today’s Premier League fixture against Fulham.

    “The midfielder – who entered the field as a second half substitute to make his Premier League debut against the Cottagers – was taken off in stoppage time.”

    Manager David Moyes said: “I am really disappointed for George. He has been doing really well in training, done really well for the Under-21s.

    “He started well with the ball, had some really nice touches. He is fine. It is a head knock. He is awake and has gone to hospital, we think he is OK at the moment. We all thought he had been knocked out but I don’t know any more.”

    The incident overshadowed a 2-0 victory for Fulham courtesy of two goals from Andreas Pereira.

    It was a second blow to West Ham’s European hopes in the space of four days, following Thursday night’s 2-0 Europa League first-leg defeat at Bayer Leverkusen, as a win would have lifted them to sixth.

    “I thought we started well and should have been one or two goals up before they scored,” added Moyes.

    “We were caught out by a long ball, we didn’t deal with it well. And we missed some opportunities to score as well. I think we dominated possession, kept the ball and passed it quite well. But we got done on the counter-attack.

    “I’m gutted, today was a great chance to go sixth with five games to go, what a great position to be in.”

    For Fulham it was a first win in four matches, and a first at West Ham since 2001.

    Boss Marco Silva said: “Great win for us, well played from ourselves and to be honest we deserved the three points.

    “West Ham had a good chance to score but after that, we scored the first goal and started to control the game. Overall we scored twice but created more chances to score as well.

    “I think we were solid, compact and kept our concentration. We should have scored more goals to be even more comfortable.”

  • Andreas Pereira at the double as Fulham dent West Ham’s hopes of European return Andreas Pereira at the double as Fulham dent West Ham’s hopes of European return

    West Ham’s European hopes suffered a second blow in the space of four days after a meek 2-0 home defeat by Fulham.

    The Hammers were beaten 2-0 by Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday, leaving them with a mountain to climb in the return match.

    They then blew the chance to climb up to sixth place in the Premier League, and right back into the European shake-up, after two Andreas Pereira goals secured a first win in four for Fulham.

    It was the first time the Cottagers had won away to West Ham since 2001 and having dominated the reverse fixture 5-0 in December, they completed a league double over their London rivals for the first time since 1966.

    Leverkusen will not be quaking in their boots on the evidence of this timid display.

    Yet West Ham should have gone ahead in the opening moments when Lucas Paqueta’s ball over the top saw right-back Vladimir Coufal burst into the area.

    His initial effort was repelled by Bernd Leno and when the ball rebounded to the feet of Michail Antonio, the striker blazed over from eight yards.

    Mohammed Kudus then curled wide narrowly wide before the lively Paqueta, who is suspended against Leverkusen on Thursday night, hit the side-netting.

    But despite their bright start, West Ham conceded to Fulham’s first attack after nine minutes, a goal which would have had manager David Moyes tearing his hair out.

    Konstantinos Mavropanos tried to bring down a deep cross from Alex Iwobi but succeeded only in gifting the ball to Pereira, who had been given a free run by Nayef Aguerd.

    The Brazilian had the simple task of knocking the ball past Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski and finishing into an empty net.

    Pereira almost had a second moments later when he slid in to meet Willian’s inviting cross, but he guided it wide.

    Coufal has yet to score for West Ham since joining three and a half years ago, and he illustrated why when he crashed a good opportunity wide from Paqueta’s cross.

    After the break Fabianski made a big save to tip Iwobi’s shot wide, but he was powerless to prevent Pereira doubling the lead after 72 minutes.

    Paqueta was robbed in midfield by Joao Palhinha and Pereira laid the ball off to Rodrigo Muniz. He played in Iwobi, who burst forward before crossing for Pereira to apply another simple finish.

    A damaging defeat for the Hammers had a sad postscript when teenage substitute George Earthy had to be carried off on a stretcher after suffering a serious head injury in a collision with team-mate Edson Alvarez, just two minutes into his Premier League debut.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.