Frank de Boer could struggle to see out the season at Crystal Palace
- 14th August 2017
Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) takes a look at what we can expect from Frank de Boer and Crystal Palace during the 2017/18 Premier League season.
Crystal Palace have turned to Frank de Boer in a bid to create their own 'velvet revolution' following the shock retirement of Sam Allardyce in the summer. The Eagles sacked Alan Pardew on the back of a dire league record throughout 2016 and they would drop into the relegation zone before Allardyce’s methods started to bear fruit. However, the turnaround was extraordinary as Palace claimed 19 points from a possible 24 from late February, a run that included away wins at Chelsea and Liverpool.
The Dutchman is a hands-on disciple of Louis van Gaal, preaching the same high-block, possession-based philosophy. He dominates proceedings on the training ground, continually stopping drills to demonstrate ideas, as he still retains the technical ability to execute what he requires. This is extravert behaviour that de Boer himself admits he should rein in at times. He acknowledges the need for players to take responsibility and learn through their own mistakes but old habits die hard for a former captain who was eternally demanding of his colleagues on the field.
A major overhaul in system and philosophy is a big gamble for a team that needed pragmatism to steer themselves clear of danger last term. Playing out from the back could be disastrous and a lot might depend on how much owner Steve Parrish holds his nerve in the face of a turbulent transitional period. The Eagles have lurched from one season to the next in a state of almost constant upheaval in recent times, so the foundations are hardly rock solid.