Roy Hodgson hopes new substitution rule is ditched next season


The Crystal Palace boss says, although necessary this term, five substitutes per game benefits the bigger clubs.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson does not believe five substitutes will be necessary in the Premier League next season.

Since football’s restart after the coronavirus pandemic, top-flight teams have had the chance to name nine players on the bench and make five changes during a game due to the congestion of fixtures.

The Eagles host Chelsea on Tuesday and opposition boss Frank Lampard has made 15 substitutions out of a possible 20 during the Blues’ four league matches this summer.

Liverpool and Manchester United have used all of their changes so far and while Hodgson understood the need for the temporary amendment to the rule, he does not feel it will be required next season.

“It does tip the balance to the clubs with bigger and stronger squads,” the Palace boss said.

“I was very much in favour of the five subs during this period. I thought that was the correct thing to do for football to get these games played where we tried to at least diminish the risk of injuries as much as we could.

“We knew they would come about, but we tried to diminish it by giving everyone the chance to get the extra subs on.

“If we give everyone a chance to start with a level playing field next year, when you don’t have necessarily this problem hanging over you of playing so many matches, then it would probably be in the interest of clubs like ours – although we won’t be alone – to go back to three.”

Crystal Palace have lost three of their four games since football's resumption
Crystal Palace have lost three of their four games since football’s resumption (Michael Regan/NMC Pool)

Hodgson did add it was “purely a personal” opinion and that he had not discussed the rule remaining in place with chairman Steve Parish or director of football Dougie Freeman.

The 72-year-old’s main focus is on halting Palace’s three-game losing streak, which has seen them drop to 14th since top-flight football resumed.

With games against Manchester United, Wolves and Tottenham to come, the Eagles know they are going to have to beat the best in the division to boost their top-10 hopes.

An area where they can improve is goals from set-pieces, after winning a total of 16 corners against Burnley and Leicester without making the most of them.

“I do hope we have in our armoury some weapons in the set-play department that can cause them problems,” Hodgson added.

“Of course, we have to get enough possession of the ball and get down in their half enough times to get the corners.

“That’s not been bad the last games, so we are getting into those areas where it’s a possibility. Now we have to try and take full advantage of it.”