Wow. In the grand scheme of shocking ideas, this is right up there with testing the strength of a pane of glass by running headfirst into it. Not content with setting a new record in the Premier League, going four games both pointless and goalless, we may as well make a bid for shortest managerial reign in the league too.
Honestly, I didn’t want to believe this could happen. At least not now, not like this. We are four games into a season which was always going to be transitional, which was always going to take time to get going given the direction de Boer made it clear he was taking this team. The opening three results were disappointing, but the performances were not a complete write-off and yesterday against Burnley we deserved to win, even Dyche admitted it.
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The reality now is that the only mistake Frank de Boer made was trusting he’d be backed with the players to implement his system and given adequate time to bring the others up to speed. He was appointed to evolve the team to one that can win with the majority of the ball but wasn’t backed early enough in the window to make that happened. The net result was that, aside from Fosu-Mensah, we started yesterday’s game with the same side that finished last season under Sam Allardyce. I said it before the window closed, you cannot expect a revolution with the same tools, not least tools with well documented issues.
For months Pardew’s Palace turned out dire performance after dire performance with the same structural deficiencies presenting themselves every week while nothing changed. It was acceptable then, on the basis of one FA Cup run and the potential to evolve, to back the manager for months on end before finally the trigger was pulled, but this time round 4 games is sufficient.
The timing of the decision throws up questions of exactly where the order has come from, too. Yesterday Steve Parish pleas for everyone to “stick together” and this morning the manager and presumably the bulk of his coaching staff are on their way down to the job centre. Spot the inconsistency?
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Of course attention must now turn to the next man in line to be Crystal Palace manager which, if rumours can be believed, is Roy Hodgson – another stop gap appointment to try and keep us in the league. First Pulis, then Allardyce and now Hodgson were given the task of fighting the fire and keeping us in the league and I have faith that with this squad it can be achieved again. It’s a typically uninspiring appointment, he’ll do the job, he’ll get the team organised and hopefully we’ll win enough games to keep us in the league. Adequate.
But what next? There will now forever be a question mark over arguably the most prestigious manager ever to take charge of Crystal Palace. What manager with half a brain cell will believe that Crystal Palace is the place to come to try their hand at Premier League management? Actions speak louder than words and for all of the talk of evolution into something better we have just sent out a resounding message of blinkered short-termism.
Yesterday we were goalless and pointless. Today? Today you can add managerless and clueless to the pile.