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Roy Hodgson responds as Crystal Palace fans hit out at owners

Having made the short trip to North London last Saturday, Crystal Palace fans watched on as Mikel Arteta's Arsenal slowly dismantled their side in a game where the Gunners cantered to a 5-0 victory.

It was a result that continued the Eagles' poor run of form and the away fans made their opinions known as a wave of banners, largely protesting the club's ownership, appeared towards the end of the match.

Crystal Palace fans make their opinions known

Crystal Palace fans hold a banner in the stands after the final whistle following the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium
Crystal Palace fans continued to voice their discontent with the club's ownership during their 5-0 defeat to Arsenal / Photo by Icon Sport

Crystal Palace's poor form

The club's switch from Patrick Vieira back to Hodgson last season may have helped Palace avoid the drop, but that short-term success has perhaps hindered the club in the long term.

This season, the Eagles have won just five matches in the league, and just one in their last 12 in all competitions – a run of form that has them just five points above the relegation zone in the Premier League at the time of writing.

In addition to poor form in the league, they have also been dumped out of both cup competitions, meaning that there is just one narrative remaining regarding their season – and that currently appears to be yet another relegation battle.

Crystal Palace fans protest

It is important to note that no banners were brandished by the Palace fans in the early stages of the match, with the away crowds giving their team their full support.

However, as the game ebbed ever closer to the full-time whistle, and with their side 5-0 down, the Palace fans decided that now was the time to voice their opinions.

Some banners read “Wasted potential. On and off the pitch, weak decisions. Taking us backwards.” While another displayed the words: “No shared vision. No structured plan. Parish out, Yanks out.”

A lack of imagination

From the outside looking in, it does appear that there is a lack of imagination at the club.

Take, for example, Hodgson's appointment in 2023. The 76-year-old came out of retirement to replace Patrick Vieira – the man who was originally hired to replace Hodgson when he was sacked just two years prior.

The same lack of creative thinking can be seen within the squad too. In 2012, academy graduate Nathaniel Clyne departed the club for Southampton and was replaced by Joel Ward. Rather shockingly, 12 years later, Hodgson still has a right-back pairing of Ward and Clyne to choose between.

What did Roy Hodgson say?

Speaking on the protest from the fans, Hodgson said: ” All I can say is that they are entitled to their opinion. I understand their frustration, anger and disappointment that things haven’t gone better.

“We can make our excuses that certain things have worked against us but the bottom line is that, if we are going to go forward and avoid relegation and do well, we need those fans with us. Hopefully, we can do our best to keep them on board. We can only do that by winning matches and playing better than we did today.”

Crystal Palace now have a ten-day break between their defeat to Arsenal and their next fixture against relegation rivals Sheffield United. Hodgson will be hoping that his side can utilise that break to rectify some recurring issues and get the fans back onside with three points at Selhurst Park on January 30.

Harry Dowsett

Freelance football writer with experience writing for multiple digital platforms, such as GIVEMESPORT. Recently graduated from Portsmouth University with a media studies degree - completing a dissertation on the evolution of sports journalism in the process. He has a love for Arsenal Football Club and a passion for football as a whole.

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