Frank de Boer has a point to prove
Dutchman aiming to show his worth
Crystal Palace unveiled Frank de Boer as their new manager this week, with the Dutch ace signing on at Selhurst Park for three years. Succeeding previous gaffer Sam Allardyce, the new face in London told the press that his aim is to make Palace a solid Premier League club.
The 47-year-old has no time to waste fighting relegation in English football, he wants to get his employers up the rankings, and isn’t afraid to splash the cash in order to achieve his goals. In fact, de Boer said as much in his first press conference, telling supporters he was excited to join a club that spent a lot of money.
Eagles bosses were careful to take their time over Allardyce’s replacement, they can’t afford to get it wrong, again, but what have they gone for, and what can fans expect to see from their side under the guidance of de Boer?
de Boer did it all as a player
As a player, the defender gained experience at the highest level of the game. He turned out for the likes of Ajax, Barcelona, Galatasaray and Rangers, back when the Scottish club were a regular in the Champions League.
At Ajax, he won a host of medals, including the 1994/95 Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the UEFA Cup, as well as a share of domestic honours. A glittering CV with his boots on, de Boer was shaping like a man more than capable of matching that as a manager, but the wheels appear to have fallen off in recent times.
Inter move proved to be a nightmare
Bossing at the Amsterdam Arena, first as a youth coach and then taking over the senior squad, de Boer boasted a 60 per cent win rate during his time at the helm. That caught the eye of Serie A giants Inter, and last summer he took over from Roberto Mancini, again signing a three year deal, but didn’t get anywhere near completing it, lasting just 85 days.
He wasn’t given nearly enough time to shape the club, but perhaps a record of five wins from 14 games forced the board into making a decision. That nightmare spell in Italy remains a dark cloud over his head. Will he be found out in England?
Coral traders fancy them to beat the drop
In taking a chance on de Boer, Palace bosses are gambling with the club’s future, but in return they’ve picked up a former player who was involved at the top of the game, and a manager who arrives with a real point to prove.
Our traders make it a shrewd choice too, marking Palace up at 5/1 to be relegated, a price which means there’s six sides ahead of them in the betting to go down. They are, of course, a lot more likely to finish in the bottom three than de Boer leading them to a top-four spot, but that was to be expected. The 80/1 about a Champions League finish next year is one for fully paid up members of the Palace fan club only.