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.
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.