Dougie Freedman’s return to Crystal Palace appears to have divided our fan-base into those who are elated with the news and those who are raging but if you fall into the latter category, I advise you to listen to the interview attached in the link just below, as there’s a pretty good chance it’ll change your mind about him.
Whilst I can understand the bitter reaction many Palace fans have had to yesterday’s news, it’s worth examining the situation the club finds itself in from every angle before writing off the chances of Freedman working well now that he’s been placed back in an official role at Selhurst Park.
Despite Frank de Boer’s pedigree, he’ll be the first person to tell you that he’s used to working alongside a Director of Football. Commonplace in the European game, they act as a buffer between the manager and the board of directors, whilst also being able to focus a great deal of their time on player recruitment, contract negotiations and more.
In Freedman, we have a man who has tried his hand at management in the stereotypical sense, with varying degrees of success and now finds himself at something of a crossroads. Known to have a great eye for a player, (he brought in Bolasie, Jedinak, Ward and Glenn Murray for a start) he is likely to flourish in a role alongside Steve Parish which focuses directly on helping the club grow.
Plenty of fans are suggesting that the Scot is being put in place to take over should things head south with De Boer but I don’t see this move in that way at all. I could of course be wrong but I feel as though Dougie will remain as Director of Football, even if Frank leaves and is replaced by someone new. It’s an appointment which should, in theory, help both the manager and Steve Parish in equal measure.
If my passionate defence of the appointment hasn’t convinced you, I really do recommend giving the above interview a listen. I don’t care how badly you thought of Freedman when he left for Bolton, it is almost guaranteed to soften your feelings towards him.