Roy Hodgson: Crystal Palace ‘like an outclassed boxer’
Roy Hodgson said Crystal Palace were “a boxer fighting in a class he’s not able to handle” after their 4-0 Premier League loss to Manchester United.
“We took blows to the chin and got knocked down, but we didn’t stay on the canvas. We tried to get up as best we could,” added Palace boss Hodgson.
The Eagles have lost their first seven games this season without scoring.
It is the worst start ever by a team in the top four divisions of professional football in England.
After being beaten 5-0 at Manchester City last weekend, the former England boss used a different colourful analogy to describe his side’s predicament, suggesting they had “been given a headache and have to try to find the aspirin”.
The 70-year-old is also known for his love of literature – citing John Updike, Philip Roth and Saul Bellow as being among his favourite authors.
In the aftermath of his resignation following England’s defeat by Iceland at Euro 2016, he quoted Shakespeare in his final media conference, saying: “I suppose someone has to come and take the slings and arrows.”
Analysis – Looking bleak for Palace
Former England striker Alan Shearer on Match of the Day:
“I know there is a complete lack of confidence for Crystal Palace at the moment but some players are scared of their own shadows. It is lack of effort too. Marouane Fellaini travelled 40 yards unchallenged for United’s second goal.
“How on earth can you score goals without men in the box? At one stage, they have four or five players standing on the edge of the box, not wanting to go in there, not wanting to score goals.
“They have to work harder, you cannot just give up. You cannot accept the lack of effort, some players are not working hard enough. It is looking bleak for them, Roy Hodgson has a hell of a job on his hands.”
Hogdson, who took over at Palace on 12 September after Frank de Boer was fired five games into the campaign, has been hampered by injuries to his strikers.
With record signing Christian Benteke ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury, winger Bakary Sako started up front. He was replaced by 24-year-old debutant Freddie Ladapo, who has scored most of his goals for non-league Grays and Margate, in the second half.
“We are playing a left winger from Wolves at centre forward, which is a position he has never played before in his life,” added Hodgson of Sako.
“Freddie Ladapo come on for his first Premier League game after being signed from non-league a couple of years ago, and he’s never had a sniff of first-team football.
“That’s our choice at the moment or we go to the 4-6-0 system.”