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Opinion: Frank De Boer Gets The Kick – Deservedly So By Peter Adeshina

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Frank De Boer
The
EPL theory of expecting a sack announcement immediately after the
manager or a club’s representative comes out with a story of a
‘harmonious relationship and unwavering commitment’ is still intact,
apparently. 

Frank De Boer becomes the first Premier League manager to be
fired this season as Crystal Palace decided they have had enough, days
after the manager said he is in constant talks with chairman, Steve
Parish, and the club is in total support of his long term ambitions.
Speaking
of long term, you ever only hear it when things, in the immediate, are
not going well for the manager involved; and Frank has had it tough, a
situation which makes his sack understandable despite claims of critics
that he should have been given more time.
In
his four league games in charge of Crystal Palace against Huddersfield,
Liverpool, Swansea and Burnley, he didn’t only fail to get a win/draw,
the team could not record a goal , earning the club an unwanted record
of having the poorest league start in 93 years. Not even Derby County,
in its incredibly poor Premier League stint in 2008 that saw the club
finish with a meager 11 points and bagged relegation in March, had such
an abysmal start; they scored four goals in their first four games.
While
the argument for faith and more time given the situation of the club
before he took over speaks to the heart, it should be noted that faith
requires fuel to run on and frankly speaking, De Boer provided none. His
ambition to transform the team into a free-flowing, passing side, a
deviation from the typical long-ball approach, has come too rapidly and
has seen the players look genuinely confused in a rather undefined
strategy that features formation swap right in the middle of games.
Frank’s
recent history at Inter Milan, where he lasted 85 days, didn’t help
either as it definitely played on the board’s mind before his
appointment.
Demands
at clubs like Crystal Palace are usually not high. Winning the league
or qualifying for major tournaments in Europe is out of the question,
but so is losing to club like Huddersfield and failing to score in 360 minutes of football action. Irrespective of how low it is, a bar still exists and De Boer strayed too far from it.
The
English Premier League is an unforgiving competition where things take
shape quickly. As seen in previous seasons, being locked in a relegation
fight from the onset has a way of dictating the affairs of the
remainder of the season, and limiting expectations to at most, a place
above 17th position.
In
the end, Steve Parish had to make a decision between standing by a
manager who appears to be sticking to his guns even though results [at
his previous club and] in the first set of games are not forthcoming,
and moving quickly to salvage things before they grow worse and far too
deep to be remedied.
For
a club that barely escaped relegation for stubbornly sticking with an
equally ambitious Alan Pardew who repeatedly argued that club was in a
“false position” despite consistent woeful results and a permanent spot
at the foot of the table, the choice is hardly complicated. It was a
matter of once bitten, twice shy.
They had to be frank with Frank.

Adeshina Peter writes from Lagos. Contact @Shina_Pitta on Twitter.

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