EXCLUSIVE: As part of a wide-ranging interview about his new book and football, one of Palace’s best-known fans, Kevin Day, says it could be time for change. By ELLA HOPKINS
Roy Hodgson, the Crystal Palace manager, has said ahead of tonight’s Premier League game at Arsenal that he would like to continue in the job beyond the expiry of his contract in the summer.
The future at the club of the 73-year-old former England boss has been a talking point among Eagles fans for months, with Palace’s sometimes cautious playing style causing growing disquiet.
And in an exclusive Under The Flyover podcast interview with Inside Croydon, Kevin Day, one of the club’s best-known celebrity fans, has added his voice to that debate.
“I don’t want to see an Inside Croydon headline saying, ‘Kevin Day says Hodgson must go’,” said the comedian and TV comedy writer, while adding that he “wouldn’t be upset” if the club were to find a new manager.
“I think this will be Roy Hodgson’s last club,” said Day, who writes scripts for television programmes including Match of the Day 2, A League of Their Own and Have I Got News For You.
“I don’t want him to be sacked, and I don’t think Steve Parish wants to be the man who sacks Roy Hodgson.
“When we get back to watching football, I’d like to see Palace play more positive, attacking football.
“I think Roy’s done a fantastic job for us, keeping us up.
“The fans that don’t like Roy Hodgson are Liverpool fans and England fans. The two biggest jobs he did he probably wasn’t right for.
“But if you talk to Fulham fans or West Brom fans, or fans of Milan or clubs in Switzerland, they love him. They think he’s brilliant.”
Hodgson came out of retirement and took over at Selhurst Park in 2017, when the club was going through one of its latest relegation battles.
Croydon-born Hodgson has enjoyed a 45-year managerial career, but over that time, Day says, football has changed significantly.
“When he started playing and managing football, he didn’t have to deal with agents or the media on a daily basis. He just coached football players who were the same age as him. Now football has become the seventh or eighth thing he has to do in a day after talking to Sky or the BBC.
“I just think there comes a time”, Day said, “where it becomes increasingly difficult for him to communicate with younger players.”
“But there is that element of you beware of what you wish for. Like we did with De Boer. You can get a young, interesting continental manager who comes in and does a terrible job.” It was De Boer’s sacking, 10 weeks into the job and after four straight league defeats without a single goal, that led to Hodgson’s appointment.
Hodgson, who speaks five languages and is an expert on Russian literature, is “one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met”, says Day, who compares him to an Oxford Don.
“He’s very unlike the cliché of what people outside football imagine a football manager would be.
“When he’s not Palace manager, people will be a lot more affectionate towards him than they are now. They’ll realise what he’s done for us when he’s no longer with us.
“He probably won’t be too unhappy to leave football when he does.
“But I would like it to be his decision.”
You can hear Day discuss the book, his passion for Palace, who writes Lineker’s jokes and how to start a career in comedy on the latest Under The Flyover podcast, unique content that is available in advance exclusively to Inside Croydon subscribers.
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