Irritable Roy Hodgson hits out against false January transfer reports

The link between available strikers and Crystal Palace is an easy one to make given the club’s continued difficulty in scoring goals

Tom Prentki
Sunday 13 January 2019 17:00
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Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey pictured apparently doing Nazi salute says he was just waving

Roy Hodgson admitted that it is “irritating” to see his side continuously linked with the players in the January transfer window whom he has no interest in pursuing.

Before joining Glasgow Rangers on an 18 month loan deal last week, Bournemouth striker Jermain Defoe stated that “there was interest” from Palace that has “been lingering for years.”

“It’s not true,” was Hodgson’s response. “We had no interest in Jermain Defoe.”

The link between available strikers and Crystal Palace is an easy one to make given the club’s continued difficulty in scoring goals. Only Huddersfield, Newcastle and Cardiff have fewer.

“If I believe the type of things that Sky Sports come up with, it seems every club, at least around our position in the table, are looking for that player. They’re all pursuing the same names, so it obviously is difficult,” said Hodgson.

“You get players who then go out and say, ‘I turned down this club for someone else’ when in actual fact, their names have been circulated but they’re not names of people who we have actually said, ‘Yeah, he’s the one for us’.

“It’s a world where the players are not to blame. Their agents, in selling their players, are quite happy to link them to this club and that club. I wouldn’t have any hesitation if we actually were pursuing a player and then it didn’t come off in saying, ‘Yeah we did pursue him and it didn’t work out’.

“But I certainly am not going to be happy when players are being linked with us whose name may well have been mentioned and whom I’ve said, ‘No, not for us at this time’.”

Having taking the lead against Watford through a Craig Cathcart own goal, the Eagles had several good chances to increase their advantage.

They failed to do so and Watford, through Cathcart in the right end and then Tom Cleverley, turned the game on its head.

Wilfried Zaha was one of those guilty of failing to take his opportunities and has now gone 13 games without scoring or assisting, according to the official measures anyway.

“That can’t be true,” said Hodgson. “He got us a penalty last week (against Wolves). The fact is if you interpret statistics as poorly as that – shots against the post and shots on target, and penalties are not assists, then that’s not my fault. I’ll have my own analysis on that. I think the person who gets the penalty has most definitely got the assist.”

Hodgson, who brought Christian Benteke off the bench for his first appearance since 1 September, made no promises about bringing in new players and insists that many of those being offered to the club are not good enough to make an impact in the first team.

Hodgson was in a cantankerous mood after the defeat by Watford

“I’m realistic. There’s no point in me ranting and raving at the chairman or DF, saying, ‘Where is this player?’ Because the fact is, if I was in their position, I don’t know where he is either.”

Cleverley’s excellent winning volley was his first goal since his return from eleven months out with an Achilles injury and it lifted Watford to seventh.

“I know people have far worse problems out there, but when you are a footballer coming back from injury it takes over your life,” he said. “It’s been a really tough 11 months for me personally with the injury, the surgery and then the long rehab. But that moment makes the long road back worth it and all the hard work has paid off.”

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