Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish leads tributes for ‘magnificent human’ Roy Hodgson as he prepares to walk away at end of the season… with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta crowning 73-year-old as a LEGEND of the game
Tributes flooded in for Roy Hodgson after he confirmed he will be stepping down as Crystal Palace manager at the end of this season – but he refused to completely rule out a return to football.
Former England manager Hodgson will leave Selhurst Park this summer, bringing an end to his four years in charge and making Palace’s trip to his former club Liverpool on Sunday his last game as manager.
The 73 year-old’s managerial career began at Swedish club Halmstad in 1976 and he has gone on to become of the game’s most respected figures.
Roy Hodgson is stepping down as Crystal Palace manager at the end of the season
Palace chairman Steve Parish led the tributes to veteran boss Hodgson on social media
The well-travelled Hodgson has also managed clubs in Switzerland, Italy, Denmark and Norway. Along with England he has also led the Swiss, Finland and UAE national teams.
Palace chairman Steve Parish said: ‘I know how much it has meant to Roy managing the club he supported as a child, adding to his distinguished and unparalleled career in football management.’
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who faces Hodgson in his final Palace home game tonight, said: ‘He is an absolute legend.
‘To keep doing it for so long, with the way he has always conducted himself, I think it’s a great example for me as a young coach – he is someone I admire.’
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: ‘Roy Hodgson is one of the greats of our business. I couldn’t have more respect for what he did and how long he did it and at which level.
‘On the day he finally finishes, football will lose a great person of the game.’
The 73-year-old is leaving his role as boss to spend more time with his wife and family
Palace have steered clear of the relegation battle for four successive seasons under Hodgson
Roy Hodgson’s record at Crystal Palace
For now, Hodgson has only decided to ‘step away from the rigours of top-flight Premier League football.’
He added: ‘To suddenly start making the bold statement about “retirement” and “this is the end of me in the world of football”… I really don’t know.
‘It’s a dangerous thing to do when you still feel good about yourself and still enjoy your life in football.
‘I’m stepping down from the club and away from football for a while. I still have a future I’m looking forward to, whether that be in football or elsewhere. It’s a never say never moment.’
Hodgson told his players of his final decision yesterday morning though said he had communicated it to confirm to the club they needed to start planning for the future.
In anticipation of Hodgson’s possible exit, Palace have been working on contingency plans for some time and narrowed down their search though are yet to settle on a preferred candidate.
Sean Dyche, Frank Lampard, Chris Wilder, Steve Cooper and Valerien Ismael are among the names on their shortlist.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta labelled Hodgson a ‘legend’ and said he admired the 73-year-old
Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is the favourite to replace Hodgson at Palace
With a major summer overhaul of their squad looming – the number of Palace players out of contract this summer is in double figures – there is a desire to resolve their managerial situation as soon as possible.
However, that could be impacted by developments with their targets.
Swansea’s Cooper and Barnsley’s Ismael ares both are involved in the Championship play-offs and going head-to-head in one of the semi-final. The final takes place on May 29.
Dyche has just a year left on his current Burnley contract but confirmed on Tuesday he expects talks over a new deal with owners ALK Capital in ‘the coming weeks.’
Hodgson, who described keeping Palace in the Premier League for four years as the highlight of his stay and the England job as the ‘pinnacle’ of his career, added: ‘I shall not have any advice and shall not be attempting to get in any consultation process.
‘Many of Europe’s best managers are working in the Premier League and I hope the club will find the man they want and the club will go in the direction that it has been going in the past eight years.’
NEXT PALACE MANAGER: THE ODDS
Frank Lampard 4/11
Sean Dyche 4/1
Steve Cooper 5/1
Valerian Ismael 15/2
Scott Parker 17/2
Eddie Howe 11/1
Patrick Vieira 13/1
John Terry 20/1
Dougie Freedman 20/1
David Moyes 25/1
Sam Allardyce 25/1
Chris Wilder 25/1
Rafa Benitez 33/1
Phil Neville 33/1
Laurent Blanc 33/1
Neil Warnock 33/1
Michael Carrick 33/1
Lee Johnson 33/1
Odds courtesy of Betfair