Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is 0-2 in his new gig and the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t exactly within touching distance.
The latest defeat is a 5-0 blowout at Manchester City, and the immediate road ahead is sobering: at Manchester United and home to Chelsea. Following a trip to Newcastle, who is in form, the Eagles have matches vs. West Ham, at Spurs, and versus Everton.
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Palace is 0-6 overall and the first team in the history of the Premier League to go goalless through its first six matches.
Palace fired Frank De Boer after four league matches and a summer in which the club failed to add much to its squad.
And Hodgson is feeling his way through the dark. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of this is the timing of Palace’s change.
“I am learning about the team all the time and they are learning,” said Hodgson.
“Our focus has to be in May. By the latter part of the season the players must know what we are looking for. They should feel stronger by then.”
To be shooting for May has to be overwhelming for the Selhurst Park faithful but may indicate their most reasonable promise of life in the Premier League.
Palace fans cannot afford to get caught up in how Sam Allardyce saved them a year ago, because his turnaround coincided with the Eagles’ purchases of Luka Milivojevic, Mamadou Sakho, and Patrick Van Aanholt. An influx of talent does not save a season alone, but we’re fairly sure Alan Pardew would’ve relished the chance to work with two new backs and a stabilizing center midfielder.
Remember that Allardyce then retired, which says something given his willingness to bask in any light in which he can claim a modicum of credit.
So Hodgson, known for his relentless training methods, needs to be given his time. Palace will likely have at-most one point after the next two PL matches, and they may have not scored yet. History can be daunting, but supporters need to exhale and realize the road ahead is long.