Frank de Boer’s time with Crystal Palace is now looked back upon by many as something of a bad dream, with neither the man himself nor the club a good fit for one another. Whilst the Eagles have moved on, it’s clear that the Dutchman still holds a grudge, talking openly about the lack of structure he found whilst speaking to the press following his arrival as Atlanta’s head coach.
Whilst the former Barcelona star had real success in charge of Ajax, his stints at both Inter Milan and Crystal Palace ended incredibly quickly, hinting at issues that weren’t all the fault of the clubs themselves, not that Frank strikes me as the sort to openly accept criticism of his methods. His time in charge at Selhurst Park saw numerous stories of dressing room unrest leaking out of the club and although plenty of neutrals and partisans alike felt as though he should have been given longer to turn things around, the decision was clearly made with the club’s best interests at heart.
Quite why Frank felt the need to take shots at either Inter Milan or Crystal Palace, both of whom are unquestionably bigger clubs than his current employer is up for debate but from my own perspective, it seems pretty clear that De Boer is a man who struggles to accept blame for his own shortcomings, preferring instead to shift it onto the shoulders of those around him and leave with a flimsy sense of self-importance intact.
I hope things work out for him in Atlanta; I was desperate for him to succeed at Crystal Palace when he arrived and felt bad about the swift nature in which he lost the job but each time he takes an indirect swipe at the club to boost his own ego, he does a little more damage to the memory he left behind in south London. For Steve Parish and his fellow owners to pay off his large contract that soon after the ink was dry, it’s fair to assume that there was blame to be attributed to all sides.
I wonder what it will take for him to let it go?