Important Appointment In A Crazy Industry
The managerial search appears to be nearing its conclusion in what has seemingly been a long drawn out process for Palace.
But, has it really been that bad?
With the lack of football the regular season provides heightening the focus on the lack of management in place at Selhurst Park, social media has been a rather odd place.
Yes, I hear you say that social media is an odd place at the best of times but without an appointment there has been a lack of transfer rumours. That in itself is not a bad thing at all, we all know that drives even the sanest of fan to the brink of madness. Just look at the replies on Twitter when the official club account promoted vacancies at the club for the forthcoming season. Truly comical.
What we have had instead is the managerial rumours with the bookies favourites changing on what seemed like a daily basis. Has it been as bad as the dreaded transfer rumours? Perhaps not, but it has driven plenty of fans into a frenzy when this stage of the off season should really be a chance to take some time out from the game and recharge those batteries, just like the players are doing right now. Well, those of them at least who have not been involved in lifting the Under 20 World Cup, competing in the Under 21 European Championships in Poland or the Confederations Cup in Russia.
That kind of dispels the myth that this stage of the year should be a time away from the game but the game rarely has a break of any kind. Football is getting very close to being available to those of us that need that a fix every day of the 365 that make up a calendar year (or 366 in a leap year).
Whether that is a good or bad thing, I cannot make my mind up. As a sports fan myself, I like to indulge in some of my other favourites during the off season but more often than not, I have found my way back to football all too often.
Not that I felt I needed it, just kind of happens. That flick through the sports channels during a break for adverts, stumbling across Brazilian league football, or Major League Soccer in the States. It doesn’t matter to us fans which country or the level of competition. It is football. We enjoy it. Perhaps too much at times. It’s a habit.
In the coming days, we will have a managerial appointment to celebrate which will allow us breath a collective sigh of relief ahead of enjoying the rest of the summer with our minds at peace. Many have been critical of the length of time it has taken but this is a hugely important appointment. While nothing is permanent in football these days, there is certainly a view that a period of stability is required and the appointment of a manager that has the freedom to plan for the future is likely to be a valuable one. And that future has to be in the top division.
All appointments are a gamble. It must be difficult for the board to decide whether someone ‘is the right fit’ for the club, I certainly do not envy the position of Steve Parish and his fellow owners. The proof will only be seen in the months to come in an every pressurised industry that is quite like no other. Results matter and if those results are not good enough, then the pressure is heaped upon the man in charge, sometimes almost overnight.
The front runners for role have been Mauricio Pellegrino (before being appointed Southampton boss) and Frank de Boer, with the latter expected to be named to succeed Sam Allardyce.
Each of them are credible candidates for the position, as are many on the list, would provide an air of anticipation around the club. Both were surprise candidates coming to the fore from the initial suggestions compiled by bookmakers up and down the land as soon as Allardyce decided to walk, particularly when Burnley boss Sean Dyche and Hull City boss Marco Silva were early front runners.
I urge those that have not been particularly enamored with the candidates for the Palace job to take a look at the odds of prospective managers listed for the Sunderland job. There is a notable difference and understandably so.
Our ‘holy grail’ was to achieve Premier League status. Once we got that, it was the stay in the top division. What is it now that we are on the brink of our fifth successive season in the top flight? Survive the first season with the new manager? Achieve mid-table obscurity? Aim higher with a top ten finish and a cup run?
Whatever it is, every fan will have their opinion when the new man is unveiled but I for one am looking forward to the new regime. Another fresh start and one that we can all look forward to backing once again for what will hopefully be more exciting times.