An object was thrown in the direction of Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson as he walked to the Selhurst Park tunnel after the final whistle of a lame home defeat by Bournemouth.
The object may have been a handwarmer. The former England manager was not struck by it, but it encapsulated the growing discontent in south London.
Asked about the object being thrown at him, Hodgson said: “That’s news to me. So you are telling me there is a fan out there who doesn’t like me? Oh, well, that will definitely stop me sleeping.
“It was a very sad evening for us. Tonight was not the performance that the Crystal Palace fans, or that we, wanted to see.
“The fans are who we play for. At the moment we are producing some lean fare for them. We are trying to change it around.”
“The fans have been spoiled here in recent times. The fact is that the expectations are high hence the boos. But the fact is the fans have been spoilt here in recent times, they’re used to seeing us do very well at home and get good results and this year we’ve not been able to do that.”
Having struggled initially to adapt to the attacking ethos preached by Andoni Iraola, the visitors have won four of their last seven Premier League fixtures to move level on points with their hosts. Their play is bright, inventive and full of pace and positivity.
By contrast, Palace’s early season promise has turned in large part to ineffective tedium, uninspiring and a stark contrast to the freedom with which the same squad played at the end of last season under Hodgson.
Palace did at least begin brightly but gradually, though, the visitors assumed control and took a 25th-minute lead when Luis Sinisterra flicked on a corner from the impressive Ryan Christie for the diving Senesi to head in.
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A chorus of boos expressed the Palace fans’ discontent with their side’s comparative lethargy as the half-time whistle rang out, no doubt fortified by chairman Steve Parish’s pre-match comments that the club will be prioritising loan signings in the January transfer window.
A delighted Andoni said: “It was an important win for us. We were very efficient and compact. We knew it was going to be very important to score first.”