Frank de Boer’s Short Stint at Selhurst Park

Bad Management

Right this will be a quick one today. Not because of a lack of effort or poor attention to detail (although I’m sure you could level those charges at me regardless) but no its because we are talking about the shortest permanent managerial reign in Premier League history, at least in terms of number of games managed. Dutchman Frank de Boer was given the manager’s job at Crystal Palace this summer following Big Sam’s resignation. Palace chairman Steve Parish carried out a thorough interview process and decided that FDB was his man. Parish would then proceed to sack De Boer after four games which might suggest that De Boer was in fact not his man but we can get onto Parish in a minute.

Frank de Boer, who certain aspects of the press might want you to believe is the Dutch Bob Bradley, actually had a very respected reputation when he left Ajax in 2016. He won the title in his first four seasons at the club and while the last couple of seasons weren’t great its still fair to say de Boer’s reign at Ajax was a success. This coupled with his impressive playing career would surely make him an ideal candidate for a top job in Europe. Inter Milan came calling after Roberto Mancini left just days before the start of the season so de Boer came in. This was nothing short of a disaster as Inter started awfully and de Boer was gone by October. Still we can chalk that one down as a fluke and still presume Frank is a good manager, right?

Wrong. Well maybe wrong as there were a lot of things going against him when he joined Crystal Palace in the summer. The board didn’t really back him to bring in the players he wanted to adapt the team to his style, after all de Boer was chosen because he had a more sophisticated style of football. The problem was this Palace team had been managed by the who’s who of mid-table British managers and simply cannot handle playing possession football. This is pretty obvious in the results.

3-0, 1-0, 2-0 and 1-0 were Frank de Boer’s defeats at Palace and the lack of any goals scored was the most alarming statistic. The final 1-0 defeat against Burnley actually showed some real signs of improvement but it was not enough to convince Steve Parish and the American Investors, so de Boer was gone. FDB obviously has to take some of the blame, he was very na├»ve in thinking he could get the squad to change style so quickly but the ownership has to bite the bullet here. To think you could transform the whole footballing culture of a club in 4 games is a joke, so Frank de Boer never really stood a chance. Now his name can stand proudly alongside the likes of Bob Bradley and Joe Kinnear as truly awful Premier League managers.