Transfer Window Fallout: Will Frank de Boer see another game?

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 01 September 2017, 09:52

THERE HAS never before been a transfer window so overwhelmingly dominated by non-transfers.

Now that the football world is temporarily drawing breath instead of grasping and scrapping over money and average players, there is a second to reflect.

The biggest stories were about players who stayed rather than moved making it the transfer window that really never was.

Alexis Sanchez, Virgil van Dijk, Ross Barkley, Riyad Mahrez, Philippe Coutinho, Diafra Sakho. For the next four months at least, all will be wearing the same colour shirts they were last season.

That’s well over £300 million worth of ‘talent’ going nowhere after the craziest deadline day for years.

Some managers will be pleased to hear their best players will be there to greet them today or whenever they resume training after this international break.

Others will be quietly seething at facing the same fed up, frustrated whingers who will disrupt the dressing room at every opportunity.

Whether players stay or leave - none of it helps the man in the middle; the coach who will live or die by the players in his team, whether he wants them or not.

And as we look back on yet another sordid chapter in the stack ‘em high, flog ‘em fast world of the Premier League, spare a thought for Frank de Boer at Crystal Palace.

There’s a good chance he won’t be around to see new £26 million marquee signing Mamadou Sakho make his permanent debut for The Eagles at Burnley on Sunday week - he will have been sacked.

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Having only been appointed on June 26 this is one signing which really does underline everything that is wrong with the beast of a business which masquerades under the guise of ‘sport’.

Professional football clubs spend a long time researching players they wish to buy. They are supposed to do the same for their managers.

Already the rumours are circulating that De Boer’s methods do not suit Palace. His philosophy of tidy, composed passing football not right for a club which has battled to stay up in the Premier League on team spirit, a relatively meagre budget and the odd decent player.

There’s a shock. When one end of your ground is a Sainsbury’s supermarket it’s tough to produce football from Harrods.

Palace chairman Steve Parish knew what he was getting for his money - just as clubs do with players.

Or at least he should have. If De Boer’s approach to the game is a sudden shock to the well-meaning Eagles supremo then it is Parish who should be the target for the fans’ criticism.

As should all of us who tout English football as the best league in the world. Of course, ‘best’ is a subjective word and it depends what you’re into.

For example, Bournemouth’s feisty 2-1 defeat to Manchester City is being hailed as a classic.

It was a game in which Raheem Sterling was sent off, a steward accused Sergio Aguero of assault before withdrawing it and both managers needed a stern talking to by ref Mike Dean as tempers rose.

Charlie Daniels scored a stunning goal but it was hardly an exhibition of tippy-tappy football. It was a rough, tough jet-paced coming together of David and Goliath in a bear-pit of Bournemouth’s tiny ground.

It was brilliant stuff but probably not what Frank de Boer dreams about with his ‘total football’ vision.

The problem is the people who shape English football really do not know what they want the product to be.

People like Frank de Boer are caught in the middle. We can call it culture shock but that’s difficult when there really is very little culture at all.

 

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