Panic at the palace

Ea­gles’ man­age­rial may­hem

Late Tackle Football Magazine - - CONTENTS -

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

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