July 21, 2024

Roy Hodgson’s second term at Crystal Palace is coming to an end, and here’s who may take his place.
Crystal Palace has made headlines for all the wrong reasons this season.

A run of 11 losses has left them 14th in the league, just five points above the relegation zone, and has put a bullseye on manager Roy Hodgson’s back.

The Eagles’ crushing 4-1 defeat to archrivals Brighton on Saturday rekindled cries for reform, with homemade placards in the stands reading: “No fight, no pride.” Weak leadership at all levels is crushing the Palace spirit. “Fans deserve better.”

Despite receiving a one-year contract extension last summer, 76-year-old Hodgson’s second tenure as manager is on the clock. I’ve compiled a list of potential replacements below.

Steve Cooper


Steve Cooper on Nottingham Forest's form - BBC Sport


Before Hodgson’s return in March, the former Nottingham Forest manager was widely regarded as the “most likely” choice on chairman Steve Parish’s shortlist.

The 44-year-old Welshman is currently without a managerial position after being fired by Forest last December, although he has experience leading an underperforming team.

Cooper played fairy godmother during his stint at Forest, propelling the club from the Championship’s bottom tier to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years.

Despite being removed from his job following a string of poor performances, his legacy of improving a sluggish club places him as the ideal remedy to Palace’s troubles.

What is curious is why, despite not being linked with any team, Cooper has not yet been signed.

Kieran McKenna


Training Ground Guru | Clarity, intensity & fun: Playing under Kieran  McKenna at Ipswich


Kieran McKenna, dubbed one of football’s “most exciting” managers, has recently been connected with struggling Palace and mid-table Brighton.

The 37-year-old led the Tractor Boys to automatic promotion last season and has overseen their impressive start to the Championship this season.

His developing star status makes him an obvious pick, but Palace’s ambitions of luring him away from Portman Road may be dashed by the £4 million compensation charge Ipswich has placed on him.

This would be McKenna’s debut in the Premier League.

Julen Lopetegui


Wolves keen to speak to O'Neil if Lopetegui leaves - CSBN


Former Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Lopetegui saved the team from relegation last season and has worked with Real Madrid, Spain, and Sevilla.

The Spaniard was connected with Nottingham Forest following Steve Cooper’s dismissal, but he is reported to be looking for other alternatives, including a move to Manchester United if Erik ten Hag leaves Old Trafford.

The fluidity of his style of play, which frequently employs an aggressive 4-3-3 system, would provide a breath of fresh air to a decreasing Palace squad that appears to have run out of winning ideas.

Bo Svensson


Head coach Bo Svensson leaves Bundesliga club Mainz after poor start to  season | Flashscore.com


An overseas contender is former Mainz manager Svensson, who is well-known in Germany but is currently unattached to any team.

The Dane has the best points-per-game (PPG) average in Mainz history, surpassing previous Champions League winners Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel.

It would be a bittersweet appointment if Svensson took over at Palace. He was a member of the Copenhagen squad that won the Danish Superliga in 2001, led by Hodgson.

Aside from that, his track record of bringing clubs out of relative obscurity should not be overlooked.

While all of the above provide knowledge and expertise to a team in severe need of rejuvenation, the most significant challenge may be determining who is willing to accept the job.

Whether Parish decides on Palace’s fate soon or waits until the summer transfer window, Hodgson’s days in south London appear to be numbered.

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