Frank de Boer’s arrival at Crystal Palace is one which has intrigued football fans across the U.K. but after huge success in charge of Ajax, the Dutchman faces a host of difficult tactical choices as he begins his time in the Premier League.
Having been schooled in footballing philosophy by the great Johan Cruyff, de Boer begins his time in charge of the Eagles with a weight of expectation placed upon his shoulders but unlike his stints with Inter Milan and the aforementioned Ajax, his success in SE25 will be measured by far more than title wins.
Despite never having played or coached in England, Steve Parish is convinced that de Boer has what it takes to be a success on our shores, adapting the high-pressing style he favoured whilst in Amsterdam to suit our needs in the rough and tumble environment of the top flight. Whilst he will be well aware of the superstar players and coaches who litter the division, it’s quite another thing to outwit them from week to week, even with a squad as talented as ours.
Part of the excitement surrounding de Boer’s arrival comes from the difficulty anyone has in predicting how he’ll cope when thrust into the limelight from August onwards. His time in Milan was short, explosive and full of strange twists and turns, all of which are covered in the article linked at the top of this page, but as the only measuring stick for how the former Barcelona man will fare outside of the Eredivisie, it’s raised inevitable concerns in the minds of some Palace fans.
We have just over a month until the league season clicks back into gear, with de Boer and his players welcoming newly promoted Huddersfield to Selhurst Park on the opening day; a clash that is sure to lest Frank’s tactical acumen to the full straight away. If you’re worried, enthused or simply intrigued about the style de Boer may adopt whilst behind the wheel in south London, I’d recommend giving the above piece a read.
It certainly won’t be boring.