Roy Hodgson Must Unleash Crystal Palace Titan v West Ham

By | April 29, 2023

On the back of three wins in their previous four games, Crystal Palace coach Roy Hodgson decided to name a rotated line up against mid-table rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers on Tuesday evening.

However, this decision backfired as the Eagles failed to break down Julen Lopetegui’s side’s resolute defence, was overrun in midfield, and was unable to construct any clear-cut chances.


One of the changes that the veteran 75-year-old boss made was to rest the ever-present Cheick Doucoure, whose tenacious, physical, and commanding presence was sorely missed.

It is imperative that Hodgson reverts to one of his most trusted options against West Ham this weekend to stop Declan Rice from dictating proceedings and provide some steel in the centre of the park.

Why should Cheick Doucoure start against West Ham?

The midfielder was signed from Lens last summer for £22m and has already established himself as one of the side’s most crucial components.

After his transfer, chairman Steve Parish applauded his potential and said: “Cheick’s arrival is yet another statement of intent, demonstrating our ambition to further improve the squad this summer. We are extremely confident that Cheick will adapt seamlessly to the rigours of the Premier League and that he will contribute positively to the squad.”

This has certainly been the cas. Across his debut season in England, the 23-year-old has made 29 Premier League starts and has averaged the most tackles (2.5) and interceptions (1.9) per game, of any Palace player, according to WhScored.


Overall, he has made 72 tackles his season, the eighth highest of any player in the league – a stirring testament to a man who was seamlessly acclimatised to the pace and intensity of English football.

The Eagles have lost three of the four league matches in which the eight-cap international hasn’t started, with the only victory coming against bottom-side Southampton.

At Molineux, Luka Milivojevic was one of the players tasked with filling the Malian’s humongous void, but he failed to adequately deputise.

Indeed, versus Wolves, the Serb failed to record any clearances, interceptions, or tackles and was hauled off after a hugely disappointing 65-minute cameo, as per Sofascore.

As well as Doucoure’s well-known defensive acumen, he also outperforms Milivojevic for progressive passes, as he manages 5.11 per 90, whilst the Serbian only registers 3.04 per 90.

With two games in the space of four days, it was understandable why Hodgson rested one of his most reliable performers, but he has to start the player that can “destroy everyone” – as per journalist Andrés Onrubia Ramos – in any midfield battle.

#Roy #Hodgson #Unleash #Crystal #Palace #Titan #West #Ham

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *