Roy Hodgson the frontrunner to replace Patrick Vieira in shock return to Crystal Palace after Arsenal legend sacked

ROY HODGSON is a shock frontrunner to return to Crystal Palace after the Eagles axed Patrick Vieira.

Arsenal legend Vieira was dismissed on Friday morning after a run of 12 games without a win, with Palace sat just three points above the relegation zone.

ReutersHodgson was in charge of Palace between 2017 and 2021[/caption]

Academy coach and former captain Paddy McCarthy took training yesterday and will be in the dugout at Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday before the Eagles look to appoint a successor during the international break.

Chairman Steve Parish insisted the “difficult decision” was made in order to give them the best chance of staying in the top flight.

He said: “Sometimes it goes right for you, sometimes it just starts not going right.

“When you don’t think that you’re going to get out of that rut, unfortunately, you’ve got to change something.

“Maybe we would have done anyway, but I couldn’t be sure of it.”

Parish insisted the club have not been speaking to managers while Vieira was still in post and that he was focused on giving McCarthy and assistant Darren Powell support ahead of Sunday, but that they would start working through their list of candidates.

One of those being considered is former boss Hodgson, who was replaced by Vieira in 2021 after four years at Selhurst Park.

After a brief stint at Watford ended in relegation last year, the 75-year-old said he did not expect to return to Premier League management.


But Palace are considering short term appointments to ensure their survival and the former England manager remains a popular figure with many first team players.

McCarthy holding the position beyond this weekend has not yet been ruled out.

Ahead of the game at The Emirates, McCarthy said: “Obviously it’s a massive moment for myself, but ultimately it’s not about me.

“My only focus at the moment is about getting the team prepared and ready for Arsenal in the short space of time that we have, so everything’s just going to be geared into that.

“I’ll push all of that emotion to one side. Yes, it’s going to be a great opportunity for myself and Darren to manage at that level, but the focus is solely on setting the gameplan and implementing that on Sunday.”

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