• Nathan Smith


Long-time manager Roy Hodgson is set to retire from football management, leaving Crystal Palace on the hunt for a new manager for the first time in four years.

With several senior players out of contract come the end of the season, it will be a period of transition for the club, but who will lead that?

Here are five managers who may replace Roy Hodgson for the 2021/22 season…

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard has emerged as the early favourite for the role, with the location of Crystal Palace and the Premier League status being the big selling point for the rumour mill. The former Chelsea player and manager enjoyed a mixed spell as boss of his beloved Blues, guiding his team into fourth despite a transfer embargo in his first season.

Despite a good start to the 20/21 season, a run of two wins in eight Premier League matches saw Chelsea slip down to ninth and Lampard was dismissed from his role.

The opportunity at Crystal Palace would be good for Lampard to establish himself as a Premier League calibre manager, and the seemingly upcoming rebuild for Palace could be a big test for the Englishman.

Steve Cooper

After winning the U17 World Cup as England manager, Steve Cooper has gone on and established himself as one to watch in management, with a solid tenure at Swansea City.

Cooper took the role in June 2019, succeeding well-liked manager Graham Potter, and has since guided the Swans to two consecutive play-off finishes.

This season has been tougher for Cooper’s side, as criticism has emerged over his style of play and the overall form of Swansea, but it is unquestionable that the former Liverpool academy coach has done a good job at the Liberty Stadium.

Cooper has a ton of experience working with young players, and that is something that could be vital at Selhurst Park next year, which is why he is one of the top contenders for the role.

Eddie Howe

Eddie Howe has practically been linked with every high-profile job since his departure from Bournemouth at the end of last season. Despite seemingly heading off to Celtic for the last six months, Howe remains without a club, and a role closer to home may suit him more.

His time at Bournemouth was undoubtedly a success, leaving the club in a much better position than when he arrived, however his last season at the Cherries may raise some questions about his suitability for Palace.

There have been some questionable recruitment decisions at Bournemouth since they arrived in the Premier League, and whether that is Howe’s fault or not is unknown. This may make him an outsider for the job, but he has proven he can keep a team in the Premier League against the odds, and that experience may prove to be key for Howe’s chances.

Chris Wilder

Sheffield United were the surprise team of the 19/20 season, as they took the Premier League by storm with their 3-5-2 shape, combined with their overlapping centre-backs as they comfortably survived and almost looked like getting European football at one point.

A lot of this was down to the work of Chris Wilder, who turned what was an average side into one of the toughest teams to beat in the Premier League.

However, Wilder’s side this season have been anything but tough to beat, as they sunk to the bottom of the Premier League and remained there for the whole season.

Wilder resigned from the Blades in March, and he has plenty to be proud of from that role, as he completely changed the fortunes of a struggling Sheffield United team.

Wilder deserves a chance at another top-level team, but whether he wants a longer break from management is unclear and his most recent form may make him an outsider for the role.

Scott Parker

One of the best interviewees in the Premier League, it has been a tough season for Scott Parker, in his first full year as a manager in England’s top-flight.

Having guided Fulham to an instant return to the Premier League, Parker’s team were unable to remain there and were relegated straight back down to the Championship.

Fulham have looked great at times, with a progressive style in full display, but their lack of defensive quality and game management has cost them big time, and sent them back to England’s second tier.

It is known that Parker was not happy with the original summer recruitment, or the lack of it, which saw Fulham bring in many players after the season had started and that may have played a part in the Cottagers relegation.

Having won just five league games this season, it is more than likely Parker will try and bring Fulham back up and prove himself as a Premier League manager. Stranger things have happened though, and the former England midfielder does show plenty of promise in the dugout.