Crystal Palace To Blame For Frank De Boer Fiasco

Crystal Palace have sacked manager Frank de Boer after just seventy-seven games in charge.

The club will point to the fact that the Dutchman failed to record a Premier League win during his short tenure (four games) and he had yet to see his side score a league goal.

Now I can’t help but feel that pretty much all of the blame has to fall at the door of the football club’s board for hiring De Boer in the first place.

After Sam Allardyce guided the Eagles to safety last term, the hierarchy at Selhurst Park went with a bold move and replaced the pragmatic Englishman with a boss who had honed his skills at Ajax with their ‘Total football’ philosophy.

It was an odd choice given the squad that De Boer inherited at Palace. That’s not me saying that they have a bad squad, just that they weren’t full of technically gifted players that had the same mentality that their new gaffer had. It meant that De Boer had to put a lot of square pegs into round holes.

I’m not sure the board backed him in the transfer market either. They only brought in four new players, two of which were loan deals and Mamadou Sahko wasn’t signed until the last day of the transfer window and has yet to feature for the team this season.

You also have to remember that their most creative talent in Wilfried Zaha has been on the sidelines due to an injury since the opening day of the season.

If you want to change your approach then you need to give your manager the tools he needs to succeed, so he was never going to get instant success with the London club.

I think it was also a bit rich to sack him after the 1-0 away defeat to Burnley. Palace looked to have improved and bossed the game in terms of shots, shots on target and in possession stats. An error cost them the game and they missed some decent chances after that.

You then look at tweets from Palace Chairman Steve Parish after the Burnley result and the decision to sack the Dutchman looks even more bizarre:

Clearly the board haven’t stuck by their gaffer and they chose to get rid of him even though they had been better than their opponents. Very strange. After four games they might have  point but they’re only three points away from seventeenth spot and four points away from fourteenth.

Now I am not saying Frank de Boer would have changed things around at Selhurst Park. He can be a stubborn coach who wants to see football played the Ajax way. Although I should point out that they tried a more direct approach yesterday.

But it was always a huge leap between Big Sam and De Boer in terms of man management and tactical styles. That sudden change would have confused the squad.

It doesn’t surprise me that the Eagles have been heavily linked with yet another former England international boss in Roy Hodgson. He’ll understand that the board will want results above anything else this term and he has that same pragmatic style that saw Tony Pulis and Allardyce succeed at Palace.

To be honest, he should have been given the job in the first place as he was more suited to the squad that Crystal Palace decided to give to De Boer.

The Palace board wanted a sexier brand of football, they just weren’t patient enough to see the project through. Given the amount of money at stake, they panicked and will now return to type.

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