The objective for Roy Hodgson, when he made his Crystal Palace return, would have been clear – stay in the Premier League.

Three games into his tenure and he had not just all but secured survival, but he had changed the mood at Selhurst Park, and almost instantly breathed life into the style of football.

Roy’s Palace beat Leicester, Leeds and Southampton and scored nine goals, which is 29% of their goal tally in the league this season so far.

Since then, they have been brought back down to earth with a stalemate against Everton and a 2-0 loss on the road against Wolves.

Maybe it was the feeling of safety having opened up a gap to the relegation scrap, but the goals have dried up again, and with them so have the wins.


The huge positive however is that the attacking intent remains and their numbers are a far cry from the stagnate football under Patrick Vieira, which resulted in a winless 2023 before he lost his job.

They were lacklustre against Everton and mustered just two shots on target, but Sean Dyche can nullify an opposition in a way very few other managers can.

Against Wolves they were better and the performance earned praise from the manager. They had 14 shots, four of which were on target, and dominated the ball away from home.

While they will feel disappointed to have lost the momentum gained in Roy's first gmaes in charge, Hodgson's job has now become setting the Eagles up for next season, where they hope to break into the top half of the table and fulfil the potential in their youthful and talented squad.

There are five games left and with survival pretty much guaranteed, Palace's role may be for the most part breaking other teams' hearts. 

They could rob points off West Ham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest as they look to stay in the league, or even put a further dent in Tottenham’s faltering European push.