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Frank de Boer: Palace were looking for replacement two weeks ago

Crystal Palace were already considering replacing manager Frank de Boer two weeks before he was eventually sacked.

De Boer, 47, met with Palace chairman Steve Parish and sporting director Dougie Freedman on Monday, 28 August.

Parish and Freedman left that meeting very underwhelmed and with no confidence that the Dutchman was the right man to turn Palace’s fortunes around.

They made contact with former England manager Roy Hodgson – the favourite to take over at Selhurst Park – and other potential replacements about their availability that week – but the club’s focus turned to player recruitment at the end of the transfer window.

De Boer was expected to be sacked before Sunday’s trip to Burnley and although that did not materialise and there were signs of encouragement despite Palace’s 1-0 defeat, it was largely irrelevant.

The hierarchy – Parish, his American co-owners and Freedman, were in the director’s box at Turf Moor and the decision had been all-but made.

Palace sacked the Dutchman on Monday after just 77 days in charge.

Among the reasons for Palace’s dissatisfaction were:

  • De Boer’s apparent diversion from a number of agreements reached when he signed, such as the team’s formation.
  • The squad’s struggles to adapt to the style of play he tried to implement.
  • Poor feedback on planning, methods and sessions.
  • Atmosphere at the training ground.
  • His use of, and relationship with certain players, such as Damien Delaney, Martin Kelly, Joel Ward, Jairo Riedewald and Lee Chung-yong.
  • A perceived lack of input on transfer activity.

De Boer is understood to have been unhappy with factors including:

  • The pre-season schedule organised before his arrival.
  • The involvement of Parish in first-team matters.
  • The delay in signing defender Mamadou Sakho.

The Eagles are 19th in the Premier League after Sunday’s defeat – and have failed to score in their four league matches under De Boer.


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