The Expat Eagle

The New Season Is Here – The Story of The Summer (Part I)

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It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally here, the new season starts today! There has been a lot happening at Selhurst Park since May, here’s a recap.

The season was over then he was out!

Two days after out final game of the season Sam Allardyce resigned from his position as manager of Crystal Palace and announced his retirement from football.

In the days and weeks after the announcement there was a lot of conjecture about the real reason why Big Sam walked away from the job, after all he signed a 2½ year contract when he was appointed manager.

There isn’t any reason to rake over old coals. I appreciate the job Big Sam done in securing Crystal Palace’s Premier League status and I wish him all the best in the future.

I have to say, I was never a fan of Sam Allardyce’s and it had nothing to do with his tenure as England manager. I can’t put my finger on what it was that I disliked about him but I definitely changed my opinion about him.

My opinion didn’t change because he rescued out season. It was how he did the job, handled the players and identified what needed to be done.

He will be remembered in a poor light in the footballing world. Called a football dinosaur but in reality he was a revolutionary who was among the first to bring in sports science, GPS tracking, ice baths and so on which are common place today.

People credit Arsene Wenger as revolutionising the modern game in England but Big Sam isn’t far behind him. He just didn’t do it with a glamorous club.

All good things come to he who waits!

After what seemed like an age but was in reality six weeks we appointed a new manager.

Frank de Boer worked his way to the top of the file and was appointed as our new manager on a 3 year contract.

As with the situation with Big Sam, we don’t need to rake over the coals of the managerial search because the fans seem split over what happened.

Some fans think FdB was first choice and that nobody else was under consideration but this isn’t the case. Steve Parish stated in a radio interview that there were a number of managers who were in the mix.

In effect there were 2 or 3 lists of managers with different styles. A couple were spoken to but when Parish interviewed FdB he felt he was the man for the job.

My opinion and that of a number of other managers were approached informally but never progressed to a formal interview. I think it was down to transfer funds available, a rumour linked to Allardyce’s decision to retire, with established managers wanting transfer funds to take the club forward.

Watford’s new manager, Marco Silva, claims he was approached but was unhappy about having to wait for an interview as Parish was on holiday. In reality Parish wasn’t on holiday, he was in the Med with Zaha discussing a new contract.

However, this is an indication that FdB wasn’t first choice without anyone else being considered.

Frank de Boer comes with a good reputation after winning the Dutch title four seasons in a row with Ajax and bringing through a lot of good youth players in the process. However this was balanced out by a disastrous spell in charge at Inter where he lasted 4 months.

In de Boer’s defence he was appointed a couple of weeks before the start of the season so he didn’t get pre-season with the team. He was unable to bring in any players and didn’t speak Italian so I don’t think it is fair to judge him by what happened at Inter.

Frank de Boer has indicated that he wants us to play a 3-4-3 formation this season and it remains to be seen if our players can handle the change or if we will bring in the players to facilitate the change of formation.

 

 

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