Crystal Palace FC, Roy Hodgson to step down as manager

By Michael Kachitsa

Roy Hodgson will leave his role as manager of Crystal Palace F.C. at the end of this season. Hodgson’s final match in charge of the Eagles will be at Anfield against Liverpool on Sunday, his 162nd competitive match in the Palace dugout.

He became manager of his boyhood club in September 2017, and under his stewardship, the club has maintained its Premier League status on four consecutive occasions.

Hodgson, who began his playing career at Palace and supported them as a child, replaced Frank de Boer as manager with the club bottom of the Premier League having lost their first four matches of the 2017-18 season without scoring a goal.

Despite losing his first three games in charge, he guided Palace to 11th in the table. They finished 12th and 14th in subsequent seasons and are currently 13th with two games remaining.

Roy Hodgson said: “After more than 45 years of coaching I have decided that the time is right for me to step away from the rigours of top-flight Premier League football, so our final two matches will be my last ones as manager of Crystal Palace.

According to the BBC Sports news, asked whether he was retiring, Hodgson said: “One never knows. It is a dangerous thing to do when you still feel good about yourself to start making bold statements about retirement.

“I am certainly not leaving Crystal Palace with the idea of putting myself back on the market for another job.

“I really am stepping away from football for a while, but who knows what the future will be? It is a never-say-never moment.

“I’ve seen so many people retire with all the fanfare blazing, only to surface again somewhere in a fairly short period of time. I’d prefer not to do that.

“I am looking forward to spending a little bit more time with my wife and son and maybe listening to what they want to do for once, because it hasn’t happened very much in the last 50 years.”

“It’s been a particularly rewarding period of my football life and career to have been able to spend these last four seasons with Palace. I feel now that at the end of another successful season, in which we have secured our Premier League status, the moment is right for me to step down from my responsibilities of being a full-time manager.”

His final home game will be against Arsenal on Wednesday, and his last match will be against Liverpool, one of his former clubs, at Anfield on Sunday.

Palace chairman Steve Parish said: “It has been an absolute privilege and pleasure to work alongside Roy, who is both a magnificent human and an outstanding football manager.

“I know how much it has meant to Roy managing the club he supported as a child, adding to his distinguished and unparalleled career in football management.

“His record with us simply cannot be overstated – he is the only Palace manager to secure four years in the Premier League and he has helped give us stability in the most turbulent of times.

“We will be forever grateful for his immense contribution.”

Hodgson, who is the oldest person to manage in the Premier League, began his managerial career 45 years ago with Swedish side Halmstads.

He has managed 16 teams in eight countries, including Inter Milan and Udinese, as well as the Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and Finland national sides.

He has also been in charge of Blackburn, Liverpool, West Brom and Fulham in the Premier League, guiding the Cottagers to the Europa League final in 2010.

He took the England job shortly before Euro 2012 and led them to the quarter-finals, but two years later they were knocked out at the group stage of a World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Hodgson’s England won all 10 matches in qualifying for Euro 2016 but he stepped down after a 2-1 last-16 defeat by Iceland left him with a record of three victories from 11 games in major tournaments.