Crystal Palace have parted company with their chief scout Tim Coe after five years, signalling a change of direction behind the scenes, likely to have been heavily influenced by Dougie Freedman.
The club appointed Coe in 2013, after former boss Freedman had left for Bolton Wanderers and taken chief scout David Sclandlers with him to the North West, leaving a gaping hole in Palace’s backroom set-up. Now, the Scot has brought Sclandlers back on board, setting him to work alongside recruitment manager Omar Yabroudi.
There has been a further addition behind the scenes in the shape of former QPR striker Kevin Gallen, who has signed up as part of the Eagles’ scouting contingent, having known Freedman well for years after playing with him as part of the Hoops’ youth team. Whilst it represents a significant change behind the scenes, I’m sure many will agree when I say that player recruitment was always an area and Freedman and his contemporaries seemed to excel in during his time as boss, giving me hope for the transfer windows to come.
Coe’s legacy will be a mixed one, given the weird and wonderful variety of players the club splashed the cash on during his time with us. Whilst the likes of Patrick van Aanholt, Andros Townsend and Luka Milivojevic have been a huge success, the big-money deal for Christian Benteke, not to mention cheaper moves for likes of Lee Chung-Yong, Florian Marange, Jerome Thomas and Jordon Mutch amongst others, will always ensure that Coe’s time with us isn’t viewed as a complete success.
Will we see a different strategy in the market once January begins? If it means an end to Deadline Day drama, I’d be more than happy but for the most part, I can see the club moving back to a model which works to identify undervalued players from across the continent.
Watch this space.