Henry Winter is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in sporting journalism and yesterday evening, Palace TV’s Chris Grierson managed to interview him, shortly after he’d interviewed Frank de Boer for a weekend piece in The Times.
After such an illustrious career as a player, de Boer took to management supremely well, winning four titles in five years whilst in charge of Ajax, leading Winter and many others in his profession to admire him from afar. Until now, the English press have never really been given a feel for the sort of man Frank is but with the squad taking in a few days of training at England’s St George’s Park complex, The Times’ chief sports writer jumped at the chance to interview the Dutchman and appeared to be genuinely blown away by what he found.
Whilst some of de Boer’s most vocal critics prefer to focus solely on the troubled spell he endured at Inter Milan rather than the outrageously successful half-decade he spent with his first club, Winter has obviously delved into the tactical philosophy favoured by the Dutchman and come away feeling as though it could be the perfect fit for both club and manager at this exact point in time.
As a writer who has reached the pinnacle of his profession, you could be forgiven for thinking that Winter would carry with him a sense of arrogance but within the above interview with Grierson, he demonstrates a keen knowledge of Palace’s history, whilst also heaping praise on the likes of Zaha and Steve Parish.
His views on Palace’s fans go far beyond the well-worn observation of us being “the noisiest in the Premier League” and instead showcase a deep appreciation for the way we as supporters carry ourselves from day to day. It left me feeling incredibly proud to be a Crystal Palace fan on a number of levels.