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Frank de Boer sacked by Crystal Palace: Muddled thinking but the right decision?

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish posted on social media on Sunday to offer a message to supporters following a fourth straight Premier League defeat without a goal under new manager Frank de Boer.

The words were measured after the 1-0 loss at Burnley: “Some sense! We are four games in. It’s a terrible start but we have to stick together.”

Fine sentiments – but sadly for De Boer, after only 77 days and a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ tenure as Crystal Palace manager, the idea of sticking together did not include the 47-year-old Dutchman, who was ruthlessly sacked on Monday morning.

After the lengthy due diligence involved in finding a successor to Sam Allardyce following his surprise departure in May, how have Palace ended up in the latest episode of managerial instability that is threatening to become Selhurst Park’s hallmark?

The appointment of De Boer – a figure of genuine pedigree in the European game after winning 112 caps for the Netherlands and a man steeped in the passing style of Dutch masters Ajax – marked a significant departure from Palace’s traditional managerial template.

The Eagles had dealt in managers whose currency was pragmatism with the appointments of experienced, steady hands such as Neil Warnock, Tony Pulis and, last season when they needed rescuing from relegation after the sacking of Alan Pardew, Allardyce.

And the policy had worked.

But Parish opted for a sea change in the summer, talking of “evolution over a period of time”.

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The time afforded for that transformation, however, ultimately proved to be just four games and, in reality, it was only really three as it has now emerged the new manager was on borrowed time even before the close of the transfer window at the end of August.


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