A Must-Read Piece For Every Palace Fan After Huddersfield Defeat

0 Posted by - August 14, 2017 - Daily Thoughts, News

As the dust finally begins to settle on what was a genuinely terrible weekend to be a Crystal Palace fan, I’d like to draw your attention to what is undoubtedly the most thoughtful piece I’ve read on the aftermath to Frank de Boer’s early struggles to implement 3-4-3 successfully in SE25.

This piece from RednBlueArmy is the perfect antidote to any screams of derision you heard on Saturday.

Whilst we would all have dearly loved Frank de Boer’s Dutch ethos to fit the current crop of Palace players like a glove, there were plenty within our ranks who were approaching the new season with a sense of trepidation, given the shift in mentality that the former Ajax man was always going to implement. The 3-0 loss to David Wagner’s Terriers may have felt like a disaster in isolation and on paper it’s easy to paint it that way but we must be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet.

Yes, defensively we were an embarrassment at times. Yes, the experiment with Joel Ward at right wing-back looked dreadful and yes, Wayne Hennessey is unable to function properly when being asked to play the ball short constantly but having bought in Frank de Boer with the intention of allowing him to alter our game dramatically, it would be utterly foolish to abandon the project after a single (admittedly woeful) result.

I could ramble on for a few hundred more words over the specific reasons for my willingness to stick with Frank and his methods for the foreseeable future but in this instance, Terence from RednBlueArmy has done the hard work for me. I dare say I will spew out all manner of thoughts and theories on de Boer between now and Christmas but for now, I feel it’s best to direct you to the piece attached at the top of the page instead, as my feelings on the matter have already been summed up eloquently there.


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  • Richard C August 14, 2017 - 12:25 pm Reply

    I read this article earlier this morning. It is a well written piece however there must be gradual change not radical change in my opinion. Pardew’s stubborn approach to sticking with the same philsophy cost us game after and game and ultimately his job. The fans are frustrated because they do not want us to go down the same route and I think the article does belittle the fans a bit because they know our players are not up to the style of play out from the back that FDB wants and are expressing that worry early. They actually gave Pardew too long to get it right, presumably because of his close affiliation with the club. I agree with giving FDB time, but not if he is going to stick his head in the sand and demand one way of playing only regardless of whether it works.

    • admin August 14, 2017 - 12:47 pm Reply

      Yes, agreed there Richard.

      As I said on Saturday via Twitter, the true measure of FdB’s tenure will be his willingness to adapt from week to week. Without some sense of compromise, the phrase “square pegs in round holes” comes to mind.

  • Jose Fonte baby? Jose Fonte? Oh oh oh August 14, 2017 - 12:49 pm Reply

    I agree that we should accept that it will take time to adapt. However, i have three issues with the performance from the weekend:
    1. Not signing the personnel for the system. FDB spoke at great lengths about needing a whole preseason to get his ideas across. Unfortunately the players who will be playing for him won’t arrive until 11.59, 31st August.
    2. Playing players out of position. as the article says, RLC isn’t a winger and Wardy isn’t a RWB. They didn’t play those roles in preseason so shouldn’t be playing them now. This is partly linked to recruitment but it was pretty naive to not start Townsend.
    3. Evolution not revolution. With the lack of transfers and the way counter-attacking football is ingrained into the players it seems daft to try and implement a complete dutch system on the squad. Ajax players learn to play like that from age 5, our squad started in June!

    If we can get the players i think we will be fine. The problem against Huddersfield was Ward and Hennessey. No one had confidence passing to them and Hennessey’s inability to leave his line left us exposed to set plays and counter attacks (Dann and TFM made brilliant recovery challenges that would have resulted in more goals). That then spreads to the rest of the team and makes everyone nervous and error prone. Zoet to the rescue?

    • admin August 14, 2017 - 12:53 pm Reply

      Much of what you’ve said here has been echoed by Richard C, JFB. I wholeheartedly agree with both of you though. In many ways, these are the “teething problems” we all knew were on the way when FdB arrived without being able to put our finger on exactly where we’d struggle.

  • Geone August 14, 2017 - 12:54 pm Reply

    I agree with RednBlue army and Richard..I like Frankie, and I want him to succeed his playing style is affective if pulled off properly, I say first of ALL get another decent goalie and also a proven goal scoring striker we are pushing our luck with one Senior striker at the mo and build from there I say..

    • admin August 14, 2017 - 12:58 pm Reply

      The keeper is simply essential Geone. Luckily, every fan and FdB seem to know that.

  • Phil H August 14, 2017 - 2:27 pm Reply

    Rome wasn’t built in a day, however the season is shorter than the duration of the Roman Empire.

    If FDB is a medium term, take us to the next level manager, we could have started with the aim of putting some points on the board which means either 4,5,1 or 4,4,2.

    Starting 3,4,3 without the personnel runs the risk that you go on a losing streak putting the personnel and system under further pressure.

    Evolution not revolution.

    • admin August 14, 2017 - 2:28 pm Reply

      I feel you’re right Phil. Sadly, I’m not sure I know if FdB is willing to give the old methods the time you or I are.

  • Magicman 52 August 14, 2017 - 2:58 pm Reply

    Sorry, but I disagree. We do not have the quality of squad to play 3-4-3 in my opinion. I strongly believe the change of style is a big mistake and if we continue to try to use it FdB will be gone by Halloween. I hope I am proven wrong but don’t think so.

    • admin August 14, 2017 - 3:43 pm Reply

      Do you not feel as though a ball playing keeper and a proper RWB would make a huge difference, Magicman?

  • CGP August 14, 2017 - 3:14 pm Reply

    How about acknowledging Huddersfield’s part in the defeat? They were excellent from start to finish, played the gegenpressing style to perfection and never allowed Palace to settle. Huddersfield were aggressive and committed but most certainly were never dirty. Zaha needs to toughen up and stay on his feet; he’s an experienced player now, strong and fast, time he delivered.

    • admin August 14, 2017 - 3:44 pm Reply

      I have to admit, Huddersfield came and did a proper job on us. All credit to them.

  • Tony Jones August 14, 2017 - 4:55 pm Reply

    Agree with much which has been said. Huddersfield realised all of our worst fears about playing three at the back without a truly dominating mid/central defender. To fix on a system and then try to fit the players you have to that system is always going to be risky especially with no recognised right wing-back and a striker who does not work the defence to create opportunities unlike Huddersfield’s big number nine. In my view we should play four at the back and then maybe evolve to a three when we are sure that we have the right players. 30 million is too much for Sakho but we really need someone like him in the middle of a back three.

    • admin August 14, 2017 - 5:24 pm Reply

      Very measured views, Tony. The question is, if £30 million is too much for Sakho, who can we get that’s similar to him for less?

  • tzcar August 15, 2017 - 8:02 am Reply

    let,s get real,wipe the stardust from your eye,s. de-boer is trying to change asystem,that these player,s cannot cope with.we have 2 many championship player,sin the side.ward,puncheon,hennessay,,,,,,.23 raw recruit,s.this system will not work with these player,s.so i haveGRAVE DOUBT,S ABOUT DE-BOER.and parish as usual messing around in the transfer window. u nership player,s of qual;ity.if ever we needed sako,it,s now.

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