After three games and three defeats, there are early calls for Crystal Palace to dismiss manager Frank de Boer. All eyes on are Palace’s trip to Burnley. Anything less than a win could spell real trouble for the Eagles with defeats to relegation rivals Huddersfield and Swansea already on the board. Let go after just 85 days at Inter Milan, you cannot blame de Boer for having a few sleepless nights.
If de Boer does leave, what does this say about this say about Steve Parish’s new revolution at Selhurst Park. When hiring de Boer, Parish didn’t want Palace to simply cling to Premier League survival every season and aim higher seeing Everton and Southampton as role models. Style was also a major concern. “If teams give us the ball, typically, we lose” said Parish, at de Boer’s unveiling. That’s what de Boer was hired for but he has been given just two new permanent signings and he’s on the ropes after three games.
The real problem facing Parish is not in the dugout but the changing room. This group of players who have been poor for three different managers now. Alan Pardew left after a run of one win in eleven games with the team one point above the relegation zone. Prior to that, he had won just six out of thirty- eight Premier League games. Sam Allardyce came in and would eventually steer Palace to safety and finish 14th in the table. Whilst Big Sam brought in some much needed steel, Palace lost eleven of his twenty games in charge and failed to score in four of their last five games.
It’s easily for Palace to chop and change their manager every six months but eventually the players have to take the responsibility. Are the likes of Wayne Hennessey, Joel Ward, Martin Kelly, Damien Delaney, Lee Chung-yong, Bakary Sako, Joe Ledley, Connor Wickham and James McArthur really Premier League class?
Steve Parish, Crystal Palace’s Chairman, must take a fair share of blame. Why hire a new manager, ask him to change the style and not back him in the transfer market? He needed an overhaul of this team and they have barely changed the side that has struggled for a number of years. “I had a fantastic relationship with Sam (Allardyce), with Alan (Pardew) and every time a manager fails at this club I fail. If Frank fails it is my failure too.” You said it Steve.
De Boer needs time. Time to rejig the playing staff before we can talk about playing styles, Total Football and DNA. If Palace want to improve and change their style, it can’t happen over night and Parish must be patient with de Boer and stand by his new project.