Aug 29, 2017
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Crystal Palace need to give Frank de Boer the time and money to succeed

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The Guardian are reporting that the future of Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer is already in serious doubt despite the Dutchman having overseen only three Premier League games.

De Boer was appointed in late June as Sam Allardyce’s successor after the one-time England manager decided to step down from his position upon guiding The Eagles to Premier League safety.

However, the former Ajax and Internazionale boss has made an unimpressive start to life at Selhurst Park with the club’s hierarchy already concerned by a trio of defeats in the Premier League and what they perceive to be an unconvincing tactical approach.

Crystal Palace have deployed a new look formation and style of play under the guidance of de Boer which revolves around a possession-based game built on a trio of central defenders.

The current playing squad have yet to fully grasp and adapt to the demands of their new manager which is in complete contrast to the more direct approach employed by Allardyce during the previous campaign.

The Eagles have lost all three of their opening fixtures in the Premier League, including home defeats against newly promoted Huddersfield Town and last season’s relegation escapees Swansea City, and have yet to register a single goal.

De Boer rose to prominence in Holland where he is credited with reviving the fortunes of Ajax where he won four Eredivisie titles in the space of four and a half years before an unsuccessful short-spell with Internazionale last season.

The 47-year-old was appointed by the Crystal Palace hierarchy after a month-long selection process with the aim of evolving The Eagles into a solid Premier League team rather than one that struggled against relegation.

However, a poor start to the new campaign combined with concerns over de Boer’s tactical decision making has left those inhabiting the boardroom at Selhurst Park fearing the worst.

The Guardian‘s report claims that some members of the club’s hierarchy perceive the Dutchman to be tactically naïve, inflexible and unsuited to the rigours of the top flight of English football.

In defence of de Boer, the 47-year-old has been stranded with the same group of players that narrowly avoided relegation last season with minimal investment being made by the club in the transfer market.

Mamadou Sakho, who was key to Crystal Palace’s revival during the second half of the previous campaign, returned to Liverpool following the end of his loan deal leaving The Eagles short of quality in central defence whilst the team was never prolific in the final third.

In addition to this, the club have made just three signings during the summer, spending £7.9 million on Jairo Riedewald alongside the double loan signings of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timothy Fosu-Mensah.

It is undoubtedly too early in the season for de Boer to be facing the sack, although in the mad world of professional football never say never.

The Dutchman needs to be given two things by the Crystal Palace board – time and money. He has been handed the task of reviving a playing squad that struggled against relegation last year without being given the opportunity or financial backing to do so.

De Boer needs to be given time to implement and imbed his ideas and philosophy throughout the club, something that will take much longer than a couple of months to take effect, whilst the board need to hand him some significant cash to spend before the transfer window closes.

Crystal Palace have a solid group of core players that have consistently proven themselves in the Premier League whilst Christian Benteke is more than capable of firing the club to safety. However, there is little doubt that more quality is required throughout the squad.

Frank de Boer proved during his spell at Ajax that he is a knowledgeable and effective manager. The Crystal Palace hierarchy need to provide him with the time and financial backing to facilitate change at Selhurst Park.

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Martyn Cooke

Martyn is currently a PTA and Research Assistant in the Department of Exercise Science at the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). In addition to his teaching role he is also undertaking a PhD in Sports History that is exploring the origins and development of football in Staffordshire. Prior to working at MMU, Martyn spent a decade operating in the sport and leisure industry in a variety of roles including as a Sports Development Officers, PE Teacher, Football Coach and Operation Manager.

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