Roy Hodgson emerges as shock Crystal Palace interim option after sacking Patrick Vieira
Roy Hodgson has emerged as a surprise contender to replace Patrick Vieira, who was sacked by Crystal Palace on Friday after the club's board concluded he could not reverse their alarming slide towards relegation.
Vieira became the ninth Premier League manager to be dismissed this season amid huge concerns over his match preparation, style of play and results.
Palace have not won any of their 12 matches in 2023, and are only three points above the relegation zone, with Under-21s manager Paddy McCarthy to take charge of Sunday's game at league leaders Arsenal.
Hours after McCarthy was given the job on a temporary basis, his Under-21s beat their Arsenal counterparts 2-0, albeit with their coach absent from the dugout.
It is understood that the club's faith in Vieira has been diminishing dramatically in recent weeks. There have been concerns over preparation for matches, with players feeling they were lacking bespoke, detailed game-plans on how to tackle each opponent. Final decisions on team selection were said to have been announced very close to games.
Viera was told of his sacking in a 7am phone call with club chairman Steve Parish.
Vieira's assistant, Osian Roberts, who has been his key tactical advisor, has driven a high-pressing approach for the attacking players but it has not yielded the turnovers of possession and goal chances that the team need.
Palace's goal threat has been a huge concern with just two goals in the past seven home games - one of which was a spectacular Michael Olise free-kick against Manchester United and the other for James Tomkins, against Brighton, largely the result of a goalkeeper error.
Palace have also not scored in four successive games and their expected goals metric is one of the lowest in the division. Along with Vieira, Roberts and coaches Said Aigoun and Kristian Wilson have also left the club.
There is likely to be a recall for coach Shaun Derry, whom Vieira dismissed earlier in the year after the former Palace player had delivered a post-match rollicking to the players. Derry has never had his contract with the club terminated.
The club have also struggled in recruitment, with the long-running doomed attempt to get Conor Gallagher back for another season on loan from Chelsea leaving them without a midfield alternative.
They had hoped to sign former player Aaron Wan-Bissaka on loan in January but the full-back unexpectedly broke back into the Manchester United team.
Vieira is understood to have held talks with Bristol City forward Antoine Semenyo shortly before the January deadline but Bournemouth moved quickly to seal a £10 million deal.
Hodgson, 75, has some support among the Palace owners - Parish, Josh Blitzer, David Harris and John Textor - over a short-term appointment.
The former England manager was in charge at Selhurst Park for four years before leaving in 2021 and left Watford last year after their relegation to the Championship. Nevertheless, the club will see how McCarthy gets on against Arsenal first and then make a decision over the international break.
McCarthy, 39, the club's former defender and captain, is well regarded and is a contender for the position. He has been working with Palace's academy since August 2021 and will take his first ever first-team game at the Emirates on Sunday.
Palace chairman Steve Parish said: “It is with enormous regret that this difficult decision has been made. Ultimately, results in recent months have placed us in a precarious league position and we felt a change is necessary to give us the best chance of retaining Premier League status.
"That said, Patrick’s impact since joining us in the summer of 2021 has been significant, and he is held in the highest regard by myself, and all of his colleagues. He led the team to a Wembley FA Cup semi-final and respectable 12th placed finish last season playing some exciting football, which was a challenging and crucial campaign for the club given the changes we made to the squad prior to his arrival.
"Patrick has given his all to the club, and we all thank him and his team for their service.
“We also wish Patrick, Osian, Kristian and Saïd the very best for their futures."