After talks being held last week at Crystal Palace regarding his future at the club, it would be bizarre if Crystal Palace were to sack Frank De Boer after three games.
It feels even odd to have to say it since we’ve only three games into the 2017/18 season but Crystal Palace are already considering the position of newly appointed manager Frank De Boer, with reports last week stating that the Dutchman had to meet the Palace board to discuss his future. It’s safe to say that although Palace have had a horrendous start to the season, the mere idea of sacking De Boer already is strange.
De Boer came to the forefront in his managerial career at Ajax, where his brand of possession football helped Ajax to win multiple league titles. His brand of football may have become more insipid and risk-free towards the end of his spell at the club but his reputation did not, after all De Boer was linked with Tottenham Hotspur at one point along with being talked about as a potential manager for Barcelona – a club he once played for.
At the time of his appointment, it seemed strange that Crystal Palace would go for somebody like De Boer. Just by looking at the managers that Palace have recently hired over the last couple of years – Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew, Sam Allardyce- managers who are not known for wanting their players to be able to keep the ball, to pass the ball around and hold onto possession like De Boer wants.
Palace have typically gone for managers who are known for a no frills, defensive, long-ball style of play that can hit teams on the break if need be and that is the kind of players that they have at their disposal. To hire a man who could not be any more culturally different from to the norm for Palace would have indicated that Palace were looking to change the way that they play but this sudden kind of change cannot be done overnight, it is not something that you can just train the players to play over the summer to be ready for the new season.
It is something that is an entire footballing cultural change which requires an overhaul of the entire club – from the players that the club have, that they recruit how they are coached and everything in between.
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De Boer was able to succeed at Ajax as the club has everything in place for him to succeed. Ajax have always played the kind of football that De Boer likes to play, they have the players that are capable of playing that kind of football and are comfortable with the ball at their feet – this is the exact opposite of Crystal Palace. For De Boer to be sacked now or anytime soon would only follow what happened last year to him at Inter Milan, where he was famously sacked after only 85 days in charge of the club where he did not even have the time to implement his style of football on the club.
The fact that these talks about De Boer’s future only seems to stress how ridiculous modern football truly has become, managers do not have the opportunity anymore to implement their own brand of football or to bring in their own players over a sustained period of time. Once a few results do not go as expected, fans begin to panic, the board makes a rushed decision to fire a manager and bring another one in with hopes of a short-term fix before repeating the exact same cycle all over again.
It’s hard to know what Palace were expecting when they hired De Boer in the summer, if they assumed that he would somehow change their fortunes quickly. Whether De Boer succeeds at Palace even if he is given plenty of time to do so or not is up in the air, there is the possibility that he crashes and burns by himself much like Andre Villas-Boas, who was a manager many expected much of years ago like De Boer, but he still has to be given time to show what he can do, otherwise what really was the point in even hiring him?