Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has said that he has the ambition of guiding the Eagles to European football following mid-table finishes in the past few seasons. The south London side have managed to stay clear of the drop zone under the guidance of Hodgson and he is now keen to take the next step and push for European football.
Atletico Madrid boss says he has a lot of respect for Jurgen Klopp
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has said that he has plenty of respect for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who has been able to find success without changing his philosophy. The German head coach has experienced plenty of highs and lows during his managerial career but he is currently going through one of his best spells with Liverpool having recently won the Champions League crown.
In an interview with El Larguero, Simeone was asked to name a manager whom he respects and he mentioned the name of Klopp while saying: “A manager that I respect? Jürgen Klopp without a doubt. He had to lose things, as well as winning some beautiful things, but he’s always done it with one style. I see him really close to his players.”
Over the past few years, Klopp had gained the unwanted reputation of guiding his teams to finals only to succumb to a defeat. However, that trend came to end during the previous campaign where Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur to the Champions League crown. The Merseyside outfit have carried over the form during the ongoing league campaign where they have already gained an eight-point advantage over Manchester City at the top of the table and they are now regarded as favourites to win their maiden Premier League crown.
Simeone, on the other hand, led Atletico to the Spanish top-flight title during the 2013/14 season but the club thereafter suffered a couple of Champions League final setbacks against arch-rivals Real Madrid. He has since guided the Capital outfit to a Europa League crown and the focus now lies on whether they can compete for the league title once more.
After a summer spending spree, Atleti made a strong start to the current season with three league wins on the bounce but they have since struggled with just six points gained from the next five outings. Still, they are within touch of the top with a three-point gap to table-toppers Real Madrid.
Speaking in a press conference, Hodgson acknowledged that he has the dream of propelling the Eagles to the European places but that remains a challenge at the moment with the team in need of more investment, he told: “I think everyone aspires to it, you start the season always dreaming that this season will be better than the previous one and that you will finish higher up the league.”
“I don’t think anybody really starts not seriously hoping and believing that we can climb the table and get closer to European places. It would be a mistake not to have that. We also have to have a realistic attitude towards that. Probably one of the things that one will have to come to terms with – for teams that aren’t already there – is that it is probably going to involve a certain degree of investment.”
The Eagles had a relatively quiet summer transfer window and they spent just six £6m on new arrivals. Nonetheless, the same has proved effective with the likes of Gary Cahill, James McCarthy and Victor Camarasa adding quality within the ranks and they have already secured a shock victory over Manchester United on the road.
For the weekend, Palace have an away game against West Ham United and they can expect a tough game with the Hammers in good scoring form. Hodgson’s side are currently just one point behind fifth-placed West Ham on the table but there are concerns whether they can find the net, having managed just six goals from the opening seven matches.