Hovering just above the relegation zone, Crystal Palace decided to make a fascinating move. Replacing the ill Roy Hodgson for an exciting prospect in Oliver Glasner. The Austrian made waves with Eintracht Frankfurt, but has, surprisingly, failed to find any work since.

The vibes were great during the preseason. Hodgson’s squad thrilled fans with the promise of a fun attacking side that could finish in the top half.

However, the fears surrounding Hodgson appeared once more. Despite the talents on the attacking side of the pitch, Hodgson failed to find a way to get more out of this side. Additionally, Hodgson once more proved that he can’t raise a club’s floor, only keep them out of the cellar.

Photo: Yahoo Sports

Appointing Glasner is interesting for all sides, but may prove to be a stroke of genius. After winning the Europa League with Frankfurt, Glasner seemed to be the young manager on every up and coming clubs’ radar. Glasner left Frankfurt at the end of last season, but only found Palace as an option.

With the squad at hand, Palace can’t be playing like relegation fodder. Perhaps a young coach with modern ideas can reinvigorate this side.

When Hodgson took over for Vieira, he promised to be the stabilizing force for an underperforming side in freefall. To his credit, Hoddgson had his side playing good football to end the 2022/23 season.

A manager looking to build a fluid exciting side would build it around Michael Olise. Hodgson tried to, but failed to find the best surrounding pieces. There are plenty of exciting forwards that could fit seamlessly with Olise, but Hodgson mismanaged this side.

Perhaps the biggest issue for Place is that the muted offense is paired with a truly awful defense. Sam Johnstone is a fine keeper, but continues to get peppered due to their poor defense. It’s mostly due to the back three not gelling well together which in turn, allows for them to get constantly pulled apart.

After keeping Palace above water, Hodgson aimed to get Palace competing with the likes of West Ham and Wolves. However, the game clearly has passed Hodgson and he is more Allardyce than Moyes.

Photo: Getty

It’s not a knock on his age, but Hodgson struggles to evolve his game at this point. There’s a system that he instills, but that system can’t function beyond a season. The system relies on taking an underperforming club and stabilizing it, but can’t get them to the next level.

Perhaps Palace’s biggest failure this offseason was keeping Hodgson on for another season. After the survival, a new manager with a fresh system needed to be brought in. Palace is filled with promising young  players who need an attacking minded coach.

Hodgson deserves credit for stepping into the mess caused in the wake of Vieira’s tenure. By allowing that to cloud their judgment, Palace fumbled any chance of a good season.

The appointment of Glasner comes almost a season too late. It’s still a fascinating move that might help Palace reach the next level.

After moving through various clubs in both Austria and Germany, Glasner arrived in Frankfurt to a club on the rise. Frankfurt’s squad, at the time, contained interesting players that fit well, but wouldn’t be confused for stars. Despite a run full of tough opponents, Glasner guided these underdogs to a Europa League title. 

Unlike the Champions League, the Europa League rewards squads full of role players with innovative coaches. It allows coaches to cut their teeth while developing their own system. While Frankfurt wouldn’t repeat in the Europa League, they still ended up in the Dfb Pokal final.

Glasner’s Frankfurt sides pushed opponents to their brinks, looking to outlast them. By no means were they the prettiest of sides, but they thrived in cup formats.

Photo: Bundesliga

Shades of Moyes at West Ham appear to those curious about Glasner. It’ll be interesting to see him given the reins for a club looking to play attacking football. The squad does match his philosophy, but he must figure out how to elevate his attack.

Concerns do exist over just how sustainable his style of play is over the course of a full season. His system matches better for situations where they can just grind down teams over smaller periods of time. The system struggles when that level has to be sustained, given just how grueling it can be on players.

Glasner profiles to be a good fit for a club desperately needing fresh ideas. There’s no way Palace was at the top of his mind when he left Frankfurt, but this should serve as a good stepping stone.

Palace wasted half a season so far and are flirting with relegation. They’re lucky the clubs below them are such a mess, but the Glasner appointment is a good step forward. With such a talented side in a dire situation, Glasner’s task is quite daunting.


Featured image: AP

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