Nookie and Roger De Courcey

News seems to be getting stronger and stronger that Crystal Palace will finally be announcing a new manager in the coming days. But, as usual, I smell bullshit.

I, along with a lot of Palace fans, realised that time was on our side in our quest to find and appoint our 6th manager in 4 years. After all, we seem to have gotten through just about everyone in the last few years.

Nookie and Roger De Courcey

So imagine my surprise when I read that our new manager was going to be Nookie the Bear!

‘That can’t be right’, I thought and went off on an internet hunt to check the facts.

Well, as it turns out the name at the top of the list was Frank de Boer, Nookie’s Dutch cousin! I really need to change my news provider…

Frank de Boer – Our First Choice?

Frank de Boer

So, delving a little deeper I came across a BBC article on the prospective appointment. I accept the BBC isn’t at the cutting edge of journalism but they are not ones to write utter nonsense involving wild speculation either.

A couple of points stood out as a cause for concern, if true. First and foremost the article claims that: “It is understood he (FdB) was the first choice of Palace chairman Steve Parish and informed the south London side they were his preferred option.”

If that’s true then why not act sooner than the 4½ weeks it has taken to appoint him? People say that good things come to those who wait and if true then FdB should be a quality appointment to build a team around, especially after years of changing managers.

But was FdB really our first choice to succeed Sam Allardyce? I don’t believe so. I believe he may have been in the top 5 candidates but it is more than a little coincidental that other managers we’ve been linked with have taken jobs elsewhere instead of been left sitting on the shelf.

The latest manager, and for a few weeks the bookies favourite Mauricio Pellegrino, who yesterday was appointed as manager of Southampton. A mere 8 days after sacking their manager, Southampton seem to have swooped in and got the job done.

That leads me to think that either the other managers rejected us, didn’t want to wait around for the process to be completed (missing out on other jobs) or we didn’t have a clear idea who we wanted to appoint.

Team To Be Given Chance To Impress?

But, the next paragraph fills me with dread! “The ex-Ajax, Barcelona and Rangers defender is understood to have committed to giving players from the existing squad a chance to impress before looking to make new signings.”

Say what? For how long? To impress in what environment? Under what conditions?

Earlier in the article it said: “De Boer is thought to have impressed the Palace hierarchy with his knowledge of the club and his footballing vision.” If true then why does he need to give the players a chance to impress? He has “knowledge” of the club already.

Okay, if it’s in pre-season training, fine. If it’s in the pre-season tour, well okay. But if it’s in Premier League games, no-effing-way!

We need to make signings before the season kicks off. Players need to be outed, replaced or shot put out of our their misery! If we leave things too long we’ll be left with trying to sign players that have been disregarded by other clubs.

It will be like when you go to a shop on the last day of the sales and all the good stuff has been taken and only a few cast offs remain. We’ve been there too many times, we need to be proactive instead of reactive.

Sure, FdB needs to assess what he has, though that shouldn’t take long, and act before we get off and running. Otherwise the pre-season will be wasted and we all know how important pre-season is to the team in terms of fitness, bonding, tactical play and so on.

Hobson’s Choice?

So, one by one the other managers took jobs elsewhere and it looks like we been left with Hobson’s Choice. Though I am sure it wasn’t that bad, the list dwindled so we had only one decent candidate to appoint because Sean Dyche was lurking in the wings along with Sven-Goran Eriksson and Roy Hodgson.

On the whole the appointment of FdB is a massive positive and it remains to be seen if he can be a success. The success of the next manager to be appointed at Palace won’t be decided by his coaching talent but by who he can bring in to the club.

FdB will want to bring a style of football that our players are ill suited for. Can you imagine our back 4 trying to play possession football, passing it around the back. We tried that last season, it didn’t work!

But while I have no doubt that FdB is a better manager than Alan Pardew and that we have a better backroom team now than under Pardew, it is still true that Joel Ward isn’t comfortable on the ball, to name but one.

My Usual Thought

Whenever Palace sign a player, be it for a fee or on a free, I consider the competition we had in acquiring their signature.

For example, when we signed Sako from Wolves on a free transfer, I wondered that if he was so good why didn’t anyone else try to sign him? I thought the same when we signed France #2 Steve Mandanda last summer. I thought, why swap the south of France for south London? It couldn’t have been Pardew’s managerial abilities…

So my mind is naturally asking the same of FdB. If he is such a good manager, why has he been out of work since being sacked by Inter Milan in November? Why hasn’t anyone else come in for him during this summer?

Since he’s been on the ‘rock ‘n roll’ (dole) there has been more than enough top jobs on the market yet I don’t recall seeing him linked with any of them.

As I said, my feelings about FdB are generally positive, I just dislike being fed ‘truths’ that don’t hold up to some rudimentary scrutiny.

We don’t have to be told he wasn’t our first choice but we don’t have to be told he was either.

They say there’s a reason for everything and I’m wondering what the reason is for someone who has won 4 league titles in a row with Ajax as a manager, been World Cup runner up with Holland as assistant and manager of Inter Milan has for not finding a job until now and why it took us 4½ weeks to conclude he was our number 1 choice.

Something in all of this isn’t right but, to be frank (pardon the pun) I don’t really care.

  • We need a manager and we’ve got one.
  • We needed a quality manager, we’ve got one.
  • We needed someone who would work with the existing backroom team, we’ve got one.
  • And we needed someone who would work with the useless shower of shite we have in the squad, we’ve got one!

Now, bring on the new season. UP THE PALACE!!!

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