Arsenal disaster actually just a blip, says Sam Allardyce


Hodgson and Sam Allardyce go head-to-head for the first time since the Toffees boss was filmed mocking the man he replaced as England boss.

Crystal Palace are likely to be without the services of arguably their most influential player in Wilfried Zaha for a month, although manager Roy Hodgson could hand a debut to new striker Alexander Sorloth when the relegation battlers travel to face Everton in the Premier League this weekend. I (apologised) publicly and I did it a couple of times. I'll hopefully speak to him and see him at the game.

My relationship with him before I always thought was good.

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Asked if Allardyce had apologised, Hodgson replied: "No". I didn't lose any sleep over it. "A lot of time has passed since that unfortunate situation".

"It's going to be hard, but I know at Selhurst Park with those fans it's like an extra player, so they will need the fans massively".

Yet any belated attempt by Allardyce to apologise will fall on deaf ears. In jobs like I am doing at the moment, when you are the manager of a Premier League club, you live very much in the ultimate present and the future.

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Winger Zaha surprisingly became the latest casualty of a debilitating Eagles injury crisis that has threatened to halt their impressive resurgence during last Sunday's (4 February) 1-1 draw with Newcastle United, with The Guardian reporting that he had been referred to a specialist after undergoing a scan on a knee problem sustained in the first half that did not lead to a substitution.

Zaha is added to a lengthy injury list for Hodgson, who is also without Bakary Sako, Jeffrey Schlupp, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Martin Kelly, Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon, Connor Wickham and Julian Speroni.

Palace have not won a match without Zaha since September 2016, but Hodgson insists the absence of their talisman will not affect the rest of the squad's mentality. "We have got an global break coming up and a break next week for the FA Cup so we are hoping it will not be as long as all that and we will have to take it on a match by match basis and get him back on the field as soon as we possibly can". We've only lost one since I got here (at home).

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