Dutch defender Jairo Riedewald made the move from Ajax to Crystal Palace this summer, almost solely because of the presence of Frank de Boer in the Selhurst Park dugout. With that in mind, it should come as little surprise to hear that he is still feeling a little peeved by the board’s decision to sack the man in question after just four Premier League games in charge.
Still young enough to be classed as a player who is “finding his way within the game” Jairo made the jump from Holland to England in the hope of progressing under the manager who first game him his chance as a professional in Amsterdam. Admittedly, De Boer’s decision to throw him into an unfamiliar back three on the opening day of the season at home to Huddersfield backfired rather spectacularly but even so, it’s clear from his words above that there remained a level of faith in Frank turning the team’s fortunes around.
Our former boss’ final game in charge came against Burnley at Turf Moor; a defeat that, aside from a mind-bendingly dreadful misplaced back-pass from Chung Yong-Lee aside, saw the Eagles batter their counterparts’ goal time and again before somehow coming away empty-handed.
Whilst we will never know what would have happened if the players had been able to beat Sean Dyche’s Clarets, it is becoming clear that in Riedewald, De Boer brought a genuinely talented footballer to the club. Deployed in the centre of midfield in all but one of the games he’s played in this term, his eye for a pass and composure when in possession points towards him being an asset for us between now and May, regardless of the change of personnel behind the scenes.
Footballers are trained not to speak too honestly about matters away from the pitch but to his credit, Jairo has refused to toe the company line when being asked for his views on De Boer’s rapid firing and for that, I feel he should be universally applauded. It may well frustrate the people who pulled the trigger behind the scenes but I’m tempted to view that as a simple byproduct of having a passionate lad on our books, given the obvious role Frank played in convincing Riedewald to join the club in the first place.
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