'Hodgson has transformed Crystal Palace's fortunes'

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There it is. The end of yet another Premier League campaign, and comfortably onto at least one more next year. To finish the season with a 2-0 win and go six unbeaten was some kind of reverse psychology given the start…

13th May 2018

Seven games, seven defeats, zero goals. It was a somewhat inauspicious beginning, but we got there in the end. This 2-0 victory over West Brom showed both side’s resurgence in form and performance since changing managers.

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The Baggies, already relegated, looked sturdy and strong, but two second-half goals were sufficient to see off Darren Moore’s side and inflict their first defeat under his tutelage. Some effort given their fixtures against the top teams. 

But it certainly wasn’t always plain sailing for Palace…

Has this season been a success?

Define success. Somehow, Palace finished in 11th. That’s 11th. Yes, I had to blink too.

Ultimately, yes this campaign was very successful, but it began in such dreadful fashion and much of it was spent nervously looking at the relegation zone contemplating the drop into the Championship.

The arrival of Roy Hodgson has galvanised everyone at the club, the supporters, the staff… everyone.

He performed a miracle. Finishing 11th is undoubtedly a sign of success but, as Hodgson noted, we need to step it up and aim higher, to avoid battling relegation for the entire season.

Are you happy with your manager?

Selhurst Park is situated in the London Borough of ROYDON now, so… yes, very much so. Never before has a manager proven so popular in such a short space of time that I can recall in my lifetime.

His tactics have been exemplary for the vast majority of this campaign, his team selection logical, reasonable and intelligent.

It is important to note his humble nature, but he must take at least some of the glory for this fantastic turnaround.

He managed to get the best out of Patrick van Aanholt, a defender who looked completely gone in November but was one of our best players towards the end of the season.

He also got the best out of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha. I could go on. He is one of our own, he has transformed this club’s fortunes.

What should be the club's priority in the transfer market this summer?

A tough one really. I think a striker of sorts is an absolute necessity. If we are to continue with Zaha and Townsend up front then someone who is equally adept at playing any of the front three positions interchangeably would be perfect.

Copying what Liverpool do with Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah would lead to some seriously good football next season. 

Another playmaker is important. Yohan Cabaye looks set to depart and his tenacity in midfield will be missed, as will the driving runs and creativity of Loftus-Cheek, who looks likely to return to parent club Chelsea.

The centre of midfield will be one of the areas in which we most significantly lack strength in depth. Aside from that, I don’t think any areas need strengthening hugely. A new winger would be lovely too.

What do you want to aim for next season?

Europe!

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