Red and Blue View: Why isn't Hodgson doing this one thing on matchday for Palace?
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Red and Blue View: Why isn't Hodgson doing this one thing on matchday for Palace?


As a young prospect in the Crystal Palace academy – or any academy for that matter – you would dream of being able to have the chance to train with the first-team.

Then, after that’s been achieved, you’d perhaps like to have a taste of a Premier League matchday from the bench.

Seeing what gets said in the dressing room, hearing the communication from the touchline and on the pitch – it’s all invaluable stuff for a youngster’s development.

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In that respect, why doesn’t Roy Hodgson name any youngsters on his bench now that Premier League clubs can name nine substitutes?

Last time out against Burnley, we only named seven substitutes, all of whom were experienced first-team players. Before that, we named six against Leeds.

Where’s the harm in throwing someone like 18-year-old David Omilabu on the bench one week?

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The teenager has been playing so well that he was recently promoted to the Under-23s, where he scored a late winner on his debut.

You could argue that Premier League clubs are currently keeping their first-team in a secluded bubble due to COVID-19.

However, some of these prospects have been training with the first-team recently, so they would then become a part of the bubble.

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It’s hardly the worst thing going on at Selhurst Park right now, although it does feel like a bit of an oversight from Hodgson.

Steve Parish has just spent £20 million on a revamped academy site, so he clearly has one eye on the club’s next generation.

It would only be a small gesture, but Hodgson would be playing his part in developing this next generation by giving them unforgettable first-team experiences where possible, such as naming them on the bench.

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