Frank De Goer? Frank De Going? Frank De Gone?

The world of football has always been a little bit mad. However this year, it seems that madness has been scaled up a notch onto a new level of bonkers. Players moving for transfer fees in the hundreds of millions, signing contracts worth half a million pounds a week, with buyout clauses approaching half a BILLION pounds.

Then there’s the spoilt brat player sagas. Those that go on strike and refuse to play to force through a move to a new club, in some cases, actually going missing (think Ousmane Dembele), which bamboozled Borussia Dortmund to the extent that they issued a statement suggesting they had no idea where he was. Bafflingly enough, he was discovered in Barcelona… Hmmmmm…

Furthermore, the madness continues with the Philippe Coutinho saga. I don’t know what’s more crazy, the fact Barcelona offered £114million, or the fact Liverpool turned it down! It’s a money game, and like many things, money talks, so if you want something bad enough, you’ll have to stump up massive wads of cash to get it. We can thank television deals and sponsorships for that.

For Palace, this causes a quite significant problem, because whilst the board have not been afraid to splash the cash in the past, spending vast swathes of money each transfer window just to watch us scrape to a seventeenth placed finish after a relegation scrap each year is unsustainable. There are an increasingly large group of fans that seem to forget that it was only seven years ago the club was on its knees, financially knackered and on the verge of going out of business. With the spending fans are demanding, it would not be long until we were back there again.

The Mamadou Sakho deal is one we really need, the man is a monster, a defender of purpose and security, who has the ability to fix up our leaky defence and kick start our season. Unfortunately, Liverpool know this, which has led them to demand an eye-watering £30million fee for his services. That’s insane.

The argument here is that, yes, that £30million, if spent, and the end result is Sakho keeps us in the Premier League, he’s made up his transfer fee five times over. On the flip side, it sets a dangerous precedent, whereby clubs see we have spent big, and will therefore demand big for any future business we try to do. It’s such a difficult call, that I am sitting on the fence, purely because for one, I don’t think any defender should be valued at that price, however, I do want us to stay in the top flight. It’s a tough one, Steve has his work cut out on that one.

More madness ensues as, in the world of football, no man is safe from the rumour spreading that is rife amongst the press, and after another diabolical performance at Selhurst Park at the weekend, suggestions are that de Boer could be about to lose his job. Already? After just three games in charge? The same comical story also targeted West Ham United’s Slaven Bilic, a club who have also summered a similarly tumultuous start to the campaign.

It’s true, we have not been at the races and this new ‘style’, that de Boer is stubbornly trying to enforce on the team, simply does not work with our players, however for his job to be under threat after three games is just ridiculous. Any Palace fan will agree the performances have been poor but I think even the most irrational fickle headed fan would also agree it would be a mistake to fire our manager so soon, especially with very few replacements waiting in the wings. Lets be honest with each other, put your hands up if you’d like to take on the role of Palace manager right now?







Wait, no! Forget I said that…

For this club to be a success, we need stability, because with stability comes progress. Sacking a manager so soon would be disastrous and Palace would be the laughing stock of the football world. For us, it’s sad, but we are going to need to grin an bear it. We have to at least give things a chance to improve, but if not, we can do the normal thing, sack the manager and hire someone to save our season. It’s worked the previous four years, so it’ll work again, although we’re fast running out of defensive minded old school managers to pick from.

You may notice, I’m waffling a bit. That’s because I have been trying to avoid talking about the shambolic performance we had to witness by South London’s finest on Saturday. The problem seems to stem from an attitude within the camp that is, as I have mentioned in previous weeks, sour and negative. This affects everyone, I don’t know who the right person to stop the rot is, but what I do know is that it’s been going on for some time. Mr de Boer hasn’t, I fear, understood the scale of the challenge of the role at Selhurst Park, and that is, unfortunately, why I don’t see his appointment working out in the long term.

Who knows? I’ve been wrong before. This is just an opinion piece after all. Lets just remember, Palace fans, to balance opinion with fact, and to not direct your opinion, especially when it is rude, unsavoury or otherwise, at the players on social media. That gets us nowhere. Right now we need unity, and threats, name-calling and insults will just create greater disparity between us and the club.



  1. Good article Jamie.

    I’ve been coaching top corporate leaders how to communicate for decades and my biggest concern about de Boer is not 433 or 343 or whatever. It’s Frank’s energy expression. Compare him with Klopp and you’ll get what I’m saying. FDB simply does not exude passion and energy and therefore will likely not galvanize and excite the team to play with the kind of aggression and hunger that is required to make ANY system work. Reminds me of when I saw Palace play Burnley years ago and I was shouting louder than anyone and especially Peter Taylor, the then manager. PT was non existent. His presence nowhere. Energy counts and I’m fearful that FDB can’t inspire.

    1. I think that you have hit the nail on the head here.

      I have lived in Amsterdam for 20 yrs and have managed to get to know a few members of the Ajax & Nederlands football crowd. I’ve met both of the De Boer twins and have to say that Frank has a flatter personality than anyone I’ve encountered in football.

      He does smile and even laugh, but it’s so rare that there are memes throughout Dutch language social media.

      At Ajax he inherited a ready made side who had been brought up on ‘Total Football’ and the style of coaching that he is comfortable with. It all fitted together nice and easy, with no real change of style or content. Unfortunately at Selhurst we don’t have that history, our players are being asked to suddenly know what Frank wants, without the background required.

      Now if Frank had a more inspirational leadership and stewardship style this could help bridge the gap. But, and I hate to say this, he’s dour in nature and not one for ‘winning’ the dressing room with a sparkling personality. This is not to say that he wont be able to adapt his manner and get across what he needs to impress on the squad, just that it is not his strong point…

  2. It took big sam 8 games before he managed to steer us in the right direction. Hopefully deboer will be able to do better. Your right though it’s nonsense that we should be talking about sacking a manager after 3 games.

  3. Does Palace want to be Premier League or Bush league? On the evidence so far, Bush league has it, hands down. The principal blame rests with the owner, Steve Parrish, who seems to lack ambition and/or resources. Allardyce had turned the team around, and it’s up to Parrish to keep the nucleus of the team together. By Big Sam’s own account, Sakho was a massive factor in the team’s relegation battle. To pennypinch over the most important player in the team is total idiocy. Three dwarfs won’t be equivalent to a giant of a man. But look at the bigger picture: Palace have to enter the big leagues with big money. That means a major league stadium, a star-studded team, a top-flight manager (Allardyce, where are you?), and the money to make it all happen. Broaden the ownership structure, whether through listing the club on the stock exchange, or attracting big-money sponsors – if necessary from the Middle East, Asia, or wherever. And should de Boer go? Yes!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like