Patrick Vieira SACKED As Crystal Palace Manager, Roy Hodgson Emerge Strong Contender For The Job.

Crystal Palace have sacked manager Patrick Vieira after a poor run of form and results, with former boss Roy Hodgson emerging a strong contender for the job.

After a run of 12 matches, the Eagles have the League’s worst record in 2023, and are the only side yet to win a match this year, drawing five games and losing six.

They have not won in the Premier League since a 2-0 success at Bournemouth on December 31.

The last straw that broke the camel's back was a 1-0 defeat at rivals Brighton on Wednesday night courtesy of March goal as their run without a goal stretched to four games.

They have not found the net since a 1-1 draw at Brentford on February 18.

Palace are only three points above the relegation zone despite sitting in 12th place in the Premier League.

The Arsenal legend Vieira, who had previously coached New York City and Nice, was reportedly fired on a 7am call on Friday morning.

Three members of the Frenchman's coaching staff, Osian Roberts, Kristian Wilson and Said Aigoun, have also left their roles at Selhurst Park.

Vieira had admitted he was worried by the fact his struggling side, and the World Cup winner, 46, said: "I'm concerned about scoring goals. When I look at the team performance, work ethic, our organisation and how the players execute our plan, I was pleased with that.

"The worry I have is that when you create those opportunities but don't take them.

"We have to score those goals. The players, especially those front players, have to change their mindset.

"I'm not going to stop putting the pressure on that until we get we want."

Club chairman Steve Parish was careful to acknowledge the positive impacts made under Vieira's tenure in the club statement accompanying his departure which reads; 

"Patrick's impact since joining us in the summer of 2021 has been significant... playing some exciting football, which was a challenging and crucial campaign for the club, given the changes we made to the squad prior to his arrival.

"That said, Patrick's impact since joining us in the summer of 2021 has been significant and he is held in the highest regard by myself and all of his colleagues. 

"He led the team to a Wembley FA Cup semi-final and respectable 12th-placed finish last season playing some exciting football, which was a challenging and crucial campaign for the club given the changes we made to the squad prior to his arrival. 

"Patrick has given his all to the club and we all thank him and his team for their service. We also wish Patrick, Osian, Kristian and Said the very best for their futures."

Parish also admitted that the decision to dismiss Vieira was tough, but one the club's hierarchy felt was necessary as they fight to preserve their top-flight status.

"Everybody loved Patrick, genuinely," he said. "The players had all the time in the world for him, he never lost the players at all.

"I think things just weren't happening. Ultimately, results in recent months have placed us in a precarious league position and we felt a change is necessary to give us the best chance of retaining Premier League status. 

"Obviously we're hoping that there's a bit of fresh impetus, a few different ideas and maybe we surprise the opposition a little bit."

The South Londoners, travel to league-leaders Arsenal on Sunday in the last game before the international break, as they attempt to salvage their season without Vieira who won the invincibles with the Gunners at the helm.

Parish is convinced the players will respond to having former club captain and Under-21 manager Paddy McCarthy in temporary charge, and could be given longer in the role if he does well.

"Everybody is positive and wants to do their best," he said. "We've got good players, a good squad and good lads.

"They followed Patrick and they will follow Paddy and will do their best for the football club."

Palace have confirmed the process to find a successor and long replacement for Vieira is under way and that goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely will remain at the club.

A host of names have been mentioned to the Palace hierarchy in the hours after Vieira's exit, including Ralph Hasenhuttl, Rafa Benitez, Carlos Corberan, Marcelo Bielsa and and Nuno Espirito Santo.

Former Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is also expected to be a strong contender to take charge of the relegation-threatened club until the end of the season.

The 75-year-old, left Palace in the summer of 2021 after four years in charge and will be considered for a surprise return as they seek to preserve their Premier League status.

Hodgson signed a short-term deal at Watford in January 2022 but confirmed his departure after relegation was sealed and the former Inter Milan, Blackburn, Fulham, Liverpool, West Brom boss said he did not expect to take another managerial job in the Premier League.

His career in the dugout has spanned more than 45 years that includes taking charge of the national teams of Switzerland, United Arab Emirates and Finland.

After the international break, Palace will host Leicester City on April 1, followed by games against Leeds United, Southampton and Everton respectively.

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