Crystal Palace have reportedly made Frank Lampard the number one candidate for their manager’s job with Roy Hodgson set to leave the club this summer.
Former England manager Hodgson turns 74 this post-season and his contract is set to expire at the end of the season after four seasons at the club. There has been plenty of speculation about whether he would renew once again, and while there has been no official confirmation either way yet it seems that the club are making their move for a new direction.
Hodgson told Sky Sports after their 3-1 defeat to Southampton on Tuesday night that he would make an announcement on his future “when he feels the time is right and not before,” which points to the former Inter and Liverpool manager leaving.
After what many would call a successful spell at the club, fans believe it is time to move on from his old-school ways and look to a more progressive coach.
The club previously attempted this when they hired Frank De Boer to take over, but he lost all seven of his games in charge without scoring a goal and was swiftly replaced by Hodgson.
But as Palace continue to have some excellent attacking talent in their squad such as Wilfried Zaha and Eberechi Eze, the south London club should begin to look at climbing into the top half of the table rather than just settling for avoiding relegation.
According to former striker Clinton Morrison on Sky, he claims “for a fact” that the club will be looking to go in a younger direction on the pitch from next season with 11 senior players seeing their contract expire this summer.
While it’s not expected they will all leave, the suggestion from The Telegraph is that former Chelsea manager Lampard could be approached about the job and given the final say on which players he keeps and which he lets go.
Lampard did relatively well with young players at Stamford Bridge, and did a similar role at Derby before that where he trusted youth and gave them plenty of opportunities to come into a first-team role.
It’s possible he could look to use those connections in west London to boost a Palace side that is one of the oldest in the division and needs strengthening.
But Lampard would be a good option for Palace to bring in as manager after so long under Hodgson. As good as he is, Roy’s priority is always to not lose the game and he sets teams up in such a way that they really rely on moments of individual brilliance to get points.
If Lampard is to take over he’ll want assurances of getting time to make sure he can get it right, but also time to implement an attacking style and to ensure he can get the right players. It gives him a chance to repair his reputation in the Premier League with a pretty steady team where there is plenty of room for growth and improvement.
For Palace it would show a positive mentality to improve and please their fans, while the players would likely be happy to work under a big name like Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer.
It seems to be a move that would suit all parties, so I’ll continue to look on with interest to see how it unfolds.