Adam Sells is the managing director of Sells Goalkeeper Products. He has followed the fortunes of Crystal Palace since 1976, working within the club’s academy for more than 15 years until 2013. He is a licensed intermediary, representing a number of goalkeepers including Julian Speroni. Here he responds to criticism aimed at Roy Hodgson.
BY ADAM SELLS
Two defeats on the road in a week for Palace and everybody is playing the blame game.
Regular readers of this column will know that I am constantly referencing the fine margins that separate the winners and the losers.
When the chips are down everything is amplified and words such as “unacceptable” and “shambles” are included in many conversations, well the ones that can be printed in a family newspaper.
The positive vibe created by Roy Hodgson following his arrival in September last year has dissipated somewhat and now a section of fans are suggesting that the end is nigh for Croydon’s favourite son.
His persistence with the shape has frustrated some and there is an argument that four of his starting 11 in recent games being played out of position. Others have described his tactics as “archaic.”
What can he change? Readers of this fine newspaper will know that I have filled recent columns with observations on the level of poor player recruitment and that is where the buck stops for me.
The team is organised and well drilled, which has been a constant feature of Hodgson’s reign. Only Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce have been similar to him in this respect.
At Brighton, in spite of a dismal first half, it is fair to say that the opening two goals should not have stood, with both the penalty and corner awarded incorrectly by referee Kevin Friend.
Meyer is a huge conundrum. He has quality, but quite what his best position is isn’t clear.
Hodgson’s reluctance to use Alexander Sorloth, given the current plight emphasises how far he has looked off the pace.
Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend look like the only other forward players near the mark, Jordan Ayew hasn’t really got going and Jonny Williams and Sullay Kaikai have not made it onto the pitch in the league this term.
Jason Puncheon has been considered as more of a central midfielder in recent seasons and that leaves just Jeffrey Schlupp – who has performed better when used as a left-back.
Roy deserves better from his current detractors and certainly in terms of reinforcements from his sporting director Dougie Freedman.
Hodgson is bearing the brunt in respect of a squad that has been assembled with such a dearth of forward talent.