Roy Hodgson began his post-match media responsibilities by speaking with Sky Sports’ Emma Saunders.
Agitated, the Crystal Palace manager launched an attack from the start of the interview. When asked how he rated the game, Hodgson laughed and said, “I can never answer those questions, I’m sorry I really can’t.” “How should I evaluate tonight?”
Emma then adds to the question by asking for the veteran’s overriding emotion in defeat and the response was full of anger:
“My overriding emotion after every defeat is the same really – I don’t really know how to answer that question.. I’m finding it harder and harder to answer questions because they’re not specific enough for me.”
The strange nature of the interview continues as Hodgson once again goes on the attack: “I don’t quite know what to say to that. We should have scored five or six against them I thought, I mean I don’t know what you want me to say, I’m sorry,” he sarcastically adds.
“I don’t think we can do more than we did against them because they were determined to not let us do what we wanted to.”
Hodgson was quite simply being unnecessarily difficult in the interview, taking his frustrations out on somebody with a relatively straightforward and fair line of questioning.
He seems to be a manager who is aware that this is likely his last job in management, and does not care what people think of him. He is hyper-aware of the fact he is doing the club a favour by taking the reigns for the season and, in the majority of the press conferences this season, he has given off a sense that he feels untouchable and therefore comes out with some pretty bold statements.
This continued into the post-match press conference when Hodgson shifted the blame onto the young substitutes. He stated that he was very encouraged with Palace’s first-half performance that they would go on to get a result from the game however, that ‘dissipated’ after the first goal.
When asked if he was disappointed with the performance: “There was no disappointment today. Maybe the young substitutes, who we like to think we can believe in and help us to a different level, didn’t show that. They didn’t do anything for us at all, really. We became much weaker when I made the substitutions.
But unfortunately, sometimes when the game is drifting away from you at two nil, one is tempted to do that. Partly because we need to see these players as well, we need to be able to see if they are going to be able to help us out. But we certainly didn’t get any help today. But, we did get a lot of help from the first group of players in the first half, I thought they were very good.”
This particularly bizarre moment is bound to have a damming impact on the confidence of the young players.
It felt as if the Palace manager was trying to send a message to the board who in his mind did not provide him with enough attacking reinforcements in the summer transfer window. However, the public nature of this was concerning as he shamed youth players who went out there trying to fight for their team.
Hodgson praised the ‘controlled’ first half, but described his substitutions as causing Palace ‘to lose intensity’. However, on reflection, this is not a fair assessment at all, as Palace lost their intensity upon going 1-0 down. The thing that caused it: negligent tactics and the lack of a plan B.
The Crystal Palace boss continued with a strange line of comments as he expressed his sympathies with Mathues França:
“I feel sorry for França. For some reason, people have tried to imbue him with qualities that we can’t expect to see from him. He’s 19 years of age. He’s got a handful of games in Brazil behind him and we’re asking him to go out and play against Tottenham.”
In what was a baffling post-match media round, Roy Hodgson made himself look extremely bitter which may have some fatal consequences when he once again has to rely on his youthful players in games after taking a hit to their confidence.