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Crystal Palace push the panic button by sacking Frank de Boer

Monday 11th September 2017

If he didn't know already, Frank de Boer is now all too aware of how cruel the Premier League has become. After four league games without a win or a goal, Crystal Palace have decided to cut their losses on a man appointed with long-term stability in mind and throw the club into disarray once more.

Despite less-than-ideal results, the announcement came as a shock to many, with De Boer now inadvertently becoming the owner of the shortest managerial reign in the Premier League's 25-year history.

It was just 77 days ago, at his unveiling, when chairman Steve Parish confirmed that the former defender was the outstanding candidate from a shortlist of 37.

However, Parish did make it clear what was expected this year: “I talked to all the potential managers and said: we need an evolution over a period of time. We've been in the bottom three two seasons in a row for home form, sooner or later that's going to catch up with us. Frank's No1 brief is to reduce the anxiety for me and the supporters.”

With Palace sitting 19th in the table after losing 1-0 away to Burnley on Sunday, the move was made less than 24 hours later to remove De Boer.  Reports are suggesting that former England boss Roy Hodgson has already been lined-up as the replacement, signalling that this change was not a knee-jerk reaction.

Palace fans have gone online to voice their fury, as they now await their eighth manager in seven years since Parish purchased the club.

Despite the score line, De Boer's side looked much improved in the loss to Burnley, and had it not been for some woeful finishing, Palace would've deservedly picked up their first points of the campaign.

Following the game, Parish spoke of his frustration with the teams start, but said that the club would “stick together”. Evidently, this means quickly moving on from a project that was expected to last for at least three years.

After surviving relegation last year based on a direct style of play under Sam Allardyce, De Boer came to London with the aim of implementing a technical, possession based game and establishing Palace as a dependable top flight team. Quickly, however, rumours swirled that the players were privately unimpressed with the 47-year-olds style, and this, coupled with poor results, has cost De Boer his first job in England.

The former Dutch international had previously lead Ajax to four consecutive Eredivisie titles from 2010 - 2014, before a stint at Inter Milan that lasted less than three months in August 2016, with the Italian club sat 12th in Serie A.

With Inter and Palace combining to allow De Boer just 162 days in his last two roles, he has unwittingly become the symbol of a modern footballing culture that does not tolerate anything but immediate success. But with Premier League survival worth an estimated £115.2 million to Palace last season, Parish and co. will not take much notice of just what a reckless decision they've made, only that they're proven right come May.

John Howell

A graduate of Media & Cultural Studies from the University of West of England, I am a 26-year-old sports fanatic based in Bristol and an avid supporter of Newcastle United. I have written for several sites before joining It's Round and It's White and although I write primarily on the subject of football, you can catch me playing rugby on the weekends, no pun intended.


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