4 Games & 77 Days! That’s how long Frank De Boer lasted at Crystal Palace. De Boer was brought in to oversee the transition of Palace from a kick and rush side to Ajax style total football. How Steve Parish thought this would be achieved in 77 days is a mystery.
Parish declared he consulted 37 managers this summer and all of them told him the team needed to evolve it’s style of play and that was the reasoning behind appointing De Boer. This seems a strange arguement- are we to believe had Sam Allardyce stayed Parish would have insisted on Big Sam evolving their style of play? No chance- and let’s remember Palace were looking for a manager in the first place because Allardyce announced his sudden retirement from Premier League management not that he had disagreements with club over style.
Having lost Allardyce unexpectedly Palace made the huge mistake of taking half the summer transfer window to decide on a replacement, interviewing numerous candidates. In taking their time they saw Watford beat them to the signature of Marco Silva.
They also lost precious time in the player recruitment process, ending up with a late deal for Mamadou Sakho and loanees- hardly the overhaul in personal required for an overhaul in style, so what did they think was going to happen?
Roy Hodgson is widely tipped to be the next man in at Selhurst Park and he is a good fix it manager having previously turned around West Brom & Fulham- taking The Cottagers from the brink of relegation to the UEFA Cup final. Hodgson will probably get more out of the players available to him than De Boer managed and he does seem a more adaptable manager who’ll get the results with what he has and evolve the style of several transfer windows.
There are 2 problems with this approach. Firstly Hodgson hasn’t managed since England’s humiliating Euro 2016 exit and most Ex England managers have struggled to get their mojo back. I’ve always felt part of the problem is managing a national team takes a manager out of club football for a long period (5 & a half years in this case) and a lot changes in that time. Can Hodgson hit the ground running after that amount of time away from the Premier League?
The other issue is Palace have been here too often in the past and consequently are using up their lives in the fix it manager stakes- they’ve already been through Tony Pulis & Sam Allardyce both experts at short term turn arounds and pulling towards the 40 point target and Hodson is the last name left in the hat. Parish is talking about long term evolution but his actions closely resemble Ellis Short’s reign at Sunderland- and look how that turned out.
De Boer may well have been the wrong choice for Palace and Hodgson may well work out in the short term but Palace are now drinking in the last chance saloon.