For better or worse, Crystal Palace FC have become synonymous with a certain style of football over the last 10-20 years and whilst no one in the mainstream media was particularly desperate to pour scorn on that tactical choice, the club’s voluntary decision to bring about a complete sea-change with the appointment of Dutch legend Frank de Boer did raise a few eyebrows.
In this fantastic piece from The Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg, we get his take on why the transition from the Palace of old (Pulis, Pardew and Big Sam) was never going to adapt suitably to the tactical preferences of a man brought up by some of the most famous characters in Dutch football’s glorious past.
Yes, Frank has only been in charge for three league games but the above piece isn’t a simple hatchet job demanding that he’s removed from his post before any more damage is done; instead it’s an examination of the curious resistance that exists towards the continental route of appointing a Director of Football to help with team affairs.
Quite rightly, Steinberg draws parallels to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger who, despite being held up by most as one of the great innovators in English football’s Premier League era, is known to be dead set against the idea of another set of eyes and ears coming on board to give him a helping hand with things away from the training ground.
Of course, the intentions of Steve Parish and his fellow American investors were pure when they first decided to give the job to Frank de Boer but in the weeks that have followed, genuine questions have been raised as to our readiness to cope with such a drastic departure from what is considered the norm in SE25.
The former Ajax boss is thought to be on extremely thin ice as things stand, with one or two journalists even suggesting that he won’t still be in charge by the time we take on Burnley this Sunday. As experiments go, this one currently has all the hallmarks of a disaster but you won’t find many Palace fans placing 100% of the blame at the manager’s door.
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