HomeHodgson sympathises with fan protests as Palace thumped by Arsenal

Hodgson sympathises with fan protests as Palace thumped by Arsenal

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Roy Hodgson says Crystal Palace’s fans are entitled to their opinions, after sections of the visiting support protested against the club’s direction during a humbling 5-0 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday.

Hodgson oversaw a dramatic improvement when he returned to the Selhurst Park dugout last March, leading Palace away from the Premier League’s relegation zone as they ended the 2022-23 season 11th in the table.

However, he has faced criticism regarding the team’s style and results this campaign, with Palace currently perched precariously above the bottom three, five points clear of 18th-placed Luton Town having played an additional game.

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They suffered one of their most chastening losses of the season on Saturday, being crushed 5-0 by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium as Mikel Arteta’s side banished their own poor run of form.

In the closing minutes, a group of travelling fans unfurled a banner which read: “Wasted potential on and off the pitch, weak decisions taking us backwards.”

Another banner called for the departure of chairman Steve Parish, who watched on glumly from the directors’ box.

Asked if he sympathised with supporters’ frustrations, Hodgson told TNT Sports: “Yes, because we are going through a very bad spell, no doubt about it.

“We were hoping this year to kick on, it has not happened. There are reasons for it, it is not quite as simplistic as all that, but the fans are always entitled to their opinions.

“They care and want to see a strong Crystal Palace team. At the moment, they have seen a team outplayed today by a superior opponent and they are entitled to make their feelings felt.

“As far as I am concerned, the fans are entitled to the opinions they have. I am pretty certain now they will let the club know.”

Hodgson called time on his first spell as Palace boss in 2021, having secured Premier League finishes of 11th, 12th, 14th and 14th with the Eagles. Patrick Vieira replaced Hodgson as Palace looked to implement a more entertaining style of play, but his reign lasted less than two years.

Asked if he was the main target of supporter unrest, the 76-year-old said: “Probably! The manager always takes responsibility. It makes me feel sad and disappointed of course because I think we are doing the best job we can do.

“But I am the manager of a football club that is not in a good position at the moment. Everything that happens to managers in that position will happen to me.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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