LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 31, 2018: Crystal Palace's manager Roy Hodgson before the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by Dave Shopland/Propaganda)c

Ex-Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson confirms shock return to Crystal Palace

After less than a year of retirement, Roy Hodgson is back in the Premier League, agreeing to take over at Crystal Palace for the rest of the season.

Hodgson had initially announced his plans to retire following the end of his previous stint at Palace, which spanned from 2017 to 2021.

But the offer of a fire-fighting role at Watford in the second half of last season proved too tempting, with the ex-Liverpool manager taking over for six months before, again, retiring.

That, he insisted, was that – until Patrick Vieira was relieved of his duties at Selhurst Park earlier this month.

Palace were on a 12-game winless run, but the decision to sack Vieira was a surprising one even to some of his players, as Joel Ward admitted this week.

Either way, the threat of relegation proved too concerning for the club’s owners, who have now confirmed the return of Hodgson on an interim basis until the end of the campaign.

It serves to extend a remarkable career that began in 1976 with Swedish side Halmstads BK, and has taken in jobs in Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Norway, Finland and, inclusive of the national team, England.

Hodgson is, of course, notorious on Merseyside for his miserable six-month reign in charge at Liverpool, which brought just 13 wins in 31 games.

Palace are currently 12th in the Premier League, but are one of nine sides in with a genuine chance of relegation come May.

They sit just three points above the relegation zone, having played two games more than West Ham in 18th and one more than Leeds, Nottingham Forest, Leicester and 19th-placed Bournemouth.

After he took over at Watford in a similar situation last season, the Hornets won just twice in 18 games, losing 13 of those and dropping to the Championship.

Watford scored only 11 goals in those 18 fixtures, conceding 37, which is worse than goal-shy Palace’s current tally of 22 scored and 38 conceded in their games under Vieira this term.