It’s been quite the week down in south London with Crystal Palace sacking Patrick Vieira and replacing him with Roy Hodgson, a decision that hasn’t found favour in all quarters.
The Frenchman’s demise was inevitable given that he was unable to mastermind a win in 2023. Palace’s last came on the final day of 2022, per WhoScored, when they triumphed over Bournemouth 2-0.
Turning to former manager, Hodgson, was surprising to say the least, and Jonathan Johnson, writing exclusively for CaughtOffside’s Substack, was clear in his own opinion on the appointment.
‘I did wonder if this (Vieira’s sacking) might happen a few months back. We saw something similar at Nice and now Patrick Vieira has lost his job with Crystal Palace too,’ he wrote.
‘I think it was perhaps a little harsh based on where the team is right now and the fact that Roy Hodgson has come in once more. It is hardly progressive stuff.
‘What Vieira decides to do next will be critical to his coaching career given his two most recent setbacks and recurrent questions surrounding his management. It could be that he returns to France and takes a lower-profile job to rebuild his reputation before chasing a high-profile one.
‘Lyon might be a good fit given John Textor’s Palace and Lyon links and the fact that Laurent Blanc continues to underwhelm.’
Palace chairman, Steve Parish, will live or die by his decisions of course, and he’ll hope that their current predicament – they find themselves in 12th position in the Premier League table but just four points off the bottom – can be turned around by Hodgson.
From Vieira’s point of view, as Johnson notes, a less high-profile position might be best in the interim.
His two failed stints have now clouded his time at New York City, and in order not to disappear into the ether in managerial terms, Vieira needs to fight hard to restore his battered reputation.
A legend as a player, he hasn’t lived up to that kind of status as a manager – yet.