Gabby Agbonlahor has ridiculed Roy Hodgson’s call to rest players against Everton after Crystal Palace were thrashed at Arsenal.
The former England and Aston Villa striker reacted via X on 20 January to sarcastically mock the “great decision” to play a supposedly weakened side as the Toffees knocked them out of the FA Cup on 17 January thanks to Andre Gomes’ free kick in the Third Round replay.
Back in Premier League action the Eagles were beaten 5-0 at the Emirates, despite the former England manager only actually making one change to his starting XI from the trip to Goodison Park in midweek.
Agbonlahor wrote, “Resting players against Everton in the FA Cup was a great decision Roy Hodgson”, with a crying laughter emoji.
Hodgson, 76, is under sack pressure this season amid poor Palace form, with The Guardian reporting on 28 December that former Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper is in the frame to replace him.
Since there was little difference between the starting line-ups against Everton and Arsenal, with Jean-Philippe Mateta coming off the bench on Merseyside anyway, Agbonlahor is perhaps being unfair.
It was little under two years ago where Frank Lampard seemed to turn on his Toffees players after being knocked out of the Cup by Patrick Vieira’s Palace side [Guardian].
Therefore it is a measure of how quickly things change in football for both sides to have different managers in charge, and an Everton win to this time be contributing to difficult times at Selhurst Park.
Gomes’ second goal in just five appearances this season proved the difference for Everton in a game which was much tighter than Palace’s subsequent defeat in the capital.
The 30-year-old has featured so infrequently for the club in the past two years but has provided a reminder of his quality before his career was wrecked by injury.
Hodgson is struggling in South London but Sean Dyche looks as secure as ever at Goodison Park after overcoming a 10-point deduction, although the threat of a second punishment means there is no time to relax for the Toffees still.