Roy Hodgson has been reflecting on the goalless draw with Newcastle United.
I must admit I rate him as a manager. Not as a great one but certainly when it comes to homegrown ones, he is one of the best.
I would take him every day of the week ahead of bluffers such as Allardyce, Pardew, McClaren and the rest.
As well as having shown himself to be a decent tactician and man-manager, Roy Hodgson is also usually pretty good when talking before and after matches.
Rather than showing the kind of bias you expect to see from an immature teenager, he tells it as it is.
Hodgson felt his side deserved to win based on chances created and he’s correct.
He also though praised Newcastle’s defensive discipline and said that no doubt Rafa Benitez will feel the visitors deserved a point, he’s right again.
Asked about the bottle throwing incident, Roy Hodgson wasn’t interested.
Likewise, when a journalist claimed Rafa had said this would be an easier game after having faced four of last season’s top six, Roy Hodgson had no interest in reacting and made clear that whatever Rafa might have said, he didn’t believe it would have been anything disrespectful. You could just imagine what a clown such as Allardyce or Pardew would have come out with if asked similar.
“I think we played well enough to win the game. We created enough chances and I thought our shape and defensive discipline was good, as was Newcastle’s.
“But we got through them enough times and we had the chances to win the game, but it didn’t go our way today.
“I suppose you could say you are frustrated when you have the chances to win the game and you don’t, but I’m not disappointed.
“I think it was a good performance from start to finish and I thought the quality of our football was good and the quality of our defending was exceptional.
“But we came across a well organised Newcastle team that fought very hard to ensure we didn’t get overly too many chances, and when those chances came our way, we missed one or two.
“When you work hard defensively for 95 minutes like Newcastle did, their manager will probably say they deserved it.
“I think over the 94 minutes or whatever it was, I was more than happy with the way all of the players acquitted themselves, and feel a little bit sorry for myself because I could be sitting here really happy having won the game, and with six points from the last two games (Huddersfield 0 Palace 1 and the Newcastle match).
“As it is, we have four points from the two games, but I am aware that is what football is at all levels – and when you are playing at the level we are playing at here, it is even more likely because teams are evenly matched and you have that group of teams with teams like Newcastle and ourselves.”
Asked about Rafa Benitez(supposedly) saying that a game against Crystal Palace might be an easier game after facing four of last season’s top six already?
“I don’t know about that and I am being hit by quotes which are rather inflammatory and I would need to hear that myself.
“It is of no interest to me and I have no idea where it has come from, but it is one I find hard to believe.”
Bottle thrown at a Palace player seemingly from the Newcastle section?
“I didn’t see it.
“My focus tends to be on the football and what is happening in the game, I rarely see these inflammatory things and I can’t comment on it.”
Wilfried Zaha affected by debate that followed him saying he deserved more protection from referees?:
“I don’t know if his comments affected him, you would have to ask him, but I presume he isn’t in front of the mass media, so you won’t get the chance. So I will have to speak for him.
“I don’t think he expected his comments to be treated the way that they were. It was a lament, and in some ways, a justifiable lament…but I don’t think he expected a week of polemics with the world and its sister having opposing views or supportive views.
“I would have thought that if he had a quieter game today, which he did, that’s because we are so reliant on him and we expect every time he gets the ball in the final third to whizz past two or three players and score a goal.
“The fact he was a bit quieter, could be partly down to the fact that I am sure he would have preferred a quieter week where it wasn’t about some interview he had done.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 0
Possession was Palace 62% Newcastle 38%
Total shots were Palace 16 Newcastle 6
Shots on target were Palace 4 Newcastle 3
Corners were Palace 9 Newcastle 5
Referee: Andre Marriner
Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett, Ritchie (Atsu 73), Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy, Perez (Muto 81), Rondon (Joselu 46)
Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Ki
Crowd: 25,679 (2,900 Newcastle approx)
(Alan Shearer reacts to Newcastle’s 0-0 draw at Palace – Read HERE)
(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the goalless draw with Crystal Palace – Read HERE)
(Match ratings of all Newcastle players after draw at Palace – See HERE)
(Mike Ashley turns up and gets the full treatment! – Read HERE)