Summers without football can be a bewildering time for fans of the beautiful game but for one supporter in particular, Frank de Boer’s appointment at Crystal Palace coincides wonderfully with a special time in the sporting calendar.
Having worked our way through a succession of functional British bosses since returning to the Premier League in 2013, de Boer’s arrival in SE25 is the very definition of a break from normality. Whilst there is obviously an element of risk attached to the appointment, the possibilities offered by the Dutchman’s presence in the Selhurst Park dugout have put a spring in the steps of Palace fans everywhere, which all feeds into the writer’s belief that the summer lull is a fantastic time to be a football fan.
Avoiding discussions of tactics or incoming transfers, the aforementioned feature focusses unashamedly on the emotional side of the game; the one which allows every supporter to dream that his side will be performing heroics on a par with Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City side the following May. For these brief few weeks, the fixture list offers nothing but possibilities, sitting in glorious isolation like an overnight snowfall at first light.
The pragmatists amongst us will have plenty of concerns over de Boer’s tenure in the weeks before the season bursts into life. Is he tactically aware enough to flourish? Was his spell at Inter just a blip or a sign of a serious problem? How will his possession-based style gel with our players? but in truth, we should cherish these fleeting moments of potential for what they represent rather than fretting too much about what the future may bring.
The article linked at the top of the page may not be everyone’s cup of tea but for me, it offers a wonderful insight into the hopeless romantic lurking deep within every football fan.