Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
Roy Hodgson has announced that he will leave Crystal Palace when his contract expires at the end of the season, ending his four-year association with the Eagles.
In an official statement released on Tuesday, the 73-year-old said: “After more than 45 years of coaching I have decided that the time is right for me to step away from the rigours of top-flight Premier League football, so our final two matches will be my last ones as manager of Crystal Palace.
“It’s been a particularly rewarding period of my football life and career to have been able to spend these last four seasons with Palace. I feel now that at the end of another successful season, in which we have secured our Premier League status, the moment is right for me to step down from my responsibilities of being a full-time manager.
“I have had so much support from my wife and family throughout my career and I have been contemplating this decision for some time, and now I believe the time is right to consider them and to see what the future holds for me.”
Former England manager Hodgson joined his boyhood club Palace in 2017 to replace Dutchman Frank de Boer and his final game in charge of the Eagles will be against his former club Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
Already the rumour mill has been cranked into overdrive amid talk about a potential successor to Roy Hodgson at Selhurst Park.
Ex-Chelsea supremo Frank Lampard is the bookmakers’ early favourite to take the reins, though there are several other interesting candidates in the market.
Next Crystal Palace manager latest odds:
- Frank Lampard – 4/11
- Sean Dyche – 4/1
- Steve Cooper – 5/1
- Valerian Ismael – 15/2
- Scott Parker – 17/2
- Eddie Howe – 11/1
Next Crystal Palace manager candidates
Frank Lampard, who has been out of work since he was sacked by Chelsea in January, is the early odds-on front-runner to fill the vacancy at Palace this summer.
Things didn’t quite go to plan for Lampard at Stamford Bridge, though a role in a less pressurised environment could allow him to make the most of the early promise he has shown during his fledgling managerial career.
Lampard would certainly relish the opportunity to prove himself at another Premier League club and his forward-thinking style of play would make him a big hit with the Eagles’ faithful.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche makes a somewhat surprising appearance as the second favourite to fill the void left by Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace.
The 49-year-old will move into the final year of his contract with The Clarets next season and his ability to build a competitive team on a shoestring budget makes him an intriguing prospect for many Premier League chairmen.
With new owners installed at Turf Moor and the promise of increased investment, this would be a strange time for Dyche to jump ship however and we expect him to still be in the Burnley hotseat come August.
Steve Cooper is considered one of the brightest young managers outside of the Premier League and the 41-year-old’s work with Swansea City has been hugely impressive.
Cooper has led the Swans into the Champions play-offs for two seasons running and his reputation for polishing rough diamonds and developing players of promise could appeal to the decision-makers at Crystal Palace.
The Eagles have a superb track record of producing home-grown stars and Cooper could get the best out of a new generation of Palace academy graduates.
Valérien Ismaël has been earning plenty of richly deserved plaudits for his work with an unfancied Barnsley team and the Frenchman has transformed the Tykes from Championship also-rans into genuine promotion contenders since his arrival in October.
The former Bayern Munich man also has ties to Crystal Palace having turned out for the Eagles for a spell back in 1998 and his knowledge of the club could push him up the list of potential candidates to replace Roy Hodgson.
Barnsley’s players have been quick to credit Ismaël for the team’s rapid rise over the past eight months and it would be interesting to see if the 45-year-old’s man-management skills would be as effective a level up.
Fulham can exit the Premier League with their pride intact at the end of the campaign thanks to their easy-on-the-eye passing game and competitive spirit – traits that Scott Parker has instilled in his team.
The Cottagers’ attractive brand of football and ability to go toe-to-toe with the division’s bigger budgets won’t have gone unnoticed, and 40-year-old Parker won’t be short on offers if he does decide to take on a new challenge.
The noises he is making suggest he is willing to stick with Fulham to try to guide the club out of the second-tier at the first time of asking however.
Eddie Howe is something of a forgotten man since his eight-year term with Bournemouth ended last year and the highly-rated coach would never have expected to be out of work for this long.
During his time with the Cherries, Howe had carved out a reputation as an innovative coach, capable of creating an exciting team with minimal damage to the club’s bank balance.
Crystal Palace could like what Howe has to offer, though the 43-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Celtic in Scotland and at the moment, he looks set for a move north of the border.
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