Crystal Palace currently find themselves in 14th place in the Premier League table, three spots down from where they finished last season. They are only five points above the bottom three, and 18th-place Luton have played the same number of games.
A big part of the reason for Palace’s struggles has been their lack of goals. They’ve only managed to net 22 this season, the third-lowest in the division after 19th-place Burnley and bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United. In the circumstances, chairman Steve Parish has reportedly grown frustrated with Roy Hodgson.
The Guardian reported late last month that Hodgson was coming under “mounting pressure” in South London, with Parish eyeing up Steve Cooper, recently relieved of his duties at Nottingham Forest. Even if he does survive until May, Hodgson is out of contract in the summer, and as yet another manager link emerges, it seems like his second spell in the Selhurst Park dugout could soon come to an end.
Hodgson helps Parish as he eyes Carrick
According to Football Transfers, Parish is “very keen” to appoint Middlesbrough’s Michael Carrick as Hodgson’s replacement. Palace tried to lure him last March after they sacked Patrick Vieira, but the Championship outfit refused to permit talks.
Now, though, Carrick is high on the shortlist again as the Eagles search for a new long-term gaffer. Ahead of his anticipated exit, Hodgson has even been assisting Parish as he runs the rule over possible candidates.
Palace are impressed by Carrick’s “intelligence, calm temperament and meticulousness”, and it’s felt he would “jump at the chance” to take the job and manage in the Premier League, especially if Middlesbrough fail to get promoted.
“Ridiculous” Carrick is transforming Boro
Carrick’s gig at The Riverside is his first in permanent management after a three-game caretaker stint at former club Manchester United following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer in autumn 2021. He’s won plenty of plaudits during his tenure in the northeast, with BBC journalist and broadcaster Harry Roy calling his achievements “ridiculous”, and The Daily Mail’s Craig Hope noting that he’s “been likened to Keanu Reeves in The Matrix”. “While the stadium spins & the match axis tilts, nothing invades Carrick’s world. In slowing things down, he thinks quicker.”
That mindset has helped the 42-year-old transform a club that was down in 22nd in the Championship when Chris Wilder was sacked in October 2022. The 4-2-3-1 manager somehow guided them to the play-offs, where they lost to Coventry in the semifinals.
Boro are currently in 10th place, but they’re only one point off the top six in a congested table, so they still have a shot at promotion. While they only rank eighth for goals scored (41), they’re fourth for expected goals (43.9), which shows that Carrick’s attacking set-up is working well – he just needs his attackers to put the ball in the back of the net more often.
Perhaps the bigger story is his side’s run to the semifinals of the Carabao Cup. Having stunned ‘big six’ club Chelsea with a 1-0 first-leg victory last week, they have a real chance of reaching Wembley, which could only intensify Parish’s desire to snap him up.