Panic at the palace
Eagles’ managerial mayhem
SOME managers do the business in the Premier League.Yet for every Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte and Mauricio Pochettino, there’s a Claude Puel, Pepe Mel or Frank de Boer.
At Ajax, De Boer carved out an excellent reputation, winning an abundance of league titles, and becoming one of Europe’s most sought-after managers. Elite English clubs were believed to be tracking him.
However, a poor spell at Inter Milan meant the 47-year-old needed to rebuild at Crystal Palace.Yet within four Premier League games, they replaced him with ex-England manager Roy Hodgson.
De Boer promised fluid, attacking football, he would promote youth and make Palace a force. But he was turfed out in no time, another sign of how patience has become a dirty word in the top-flight.
Yet Eagles chairman Steve Parish has turned to a man who sent many England fans to sleep, and many to lose their hair.
What has happened at Palace for this to happen?
A year and a half ago, Alan Pardew led Crystal Palace to an FA Cup final against Manchester United and the club had stability.
Yet results dipped alarmingly and Pardew made errors.
For example, the signing of goalkeeper Steve Man- danda from Marseille looked to be an excellent one. Here Palace had a commanding goalkeeper, a man who had excelled in European competition, a league winner in France. Yet, for whatever reason, Pardew continued to pick Wayne Hennessey, a man who kept making silly mistakes. As Palace’s fortunes nosedived, it was no surprise Pardew was removed. In came disgraced former England boss Sam Allardyce, who made some astute signings, most notably Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho. Big Sam guided the Eagles to safety but then shocked the south Londoners by flying into retirement… and in came De Boer with a different football philosophy. One of the problems for Palace is they haven’t replaced the dead wood in their squad. Players such as Hennessey, Scott Dann, Lee Chung-yong and Connor Wickham are just some of those who are lucky to still be there. Hodgson will no doubt get Palace organised, but he will also need the creativity of someone like Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek. He shows signs of brilliance, but in Hodgson’s first game in charge was subbed off. After defeats to Southampton and Manchester City in his first two Premier League games in charge, Hodgson has been given some idea of how difficult his task will be to save Palace’s bacon. But I can’t help thinking that De Boer should have remained in place and been given more time to put his methods across. Alas, it was not meant to be – and I’m afraid Palace are facing a very long season.
New boss: Roy Hodgson Fall guy: Manager Frank de Boer had a nightmare at Selhurst Park