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Farewell then, Frank de Boer


After 77 days in charge Frank de Boer has been sacked as Crystal Palace manager and it looks as if he will be replaced by Roy Hodgson.

Some might think that Palace have done very well to stay in the Premier League, but de Boer was supposed to take them to the next level.   This involved imposing a different style of play which the squad was clearly unhappy with, or at any rate needed more time to get used to.

We are told, of course, that football is a results business and Palace have had the worst start of any team in the top flight since 1924 (Preston North End).   The losses that would result from relegation are enormous and clearly of concern to the club's American investors.

However, do we place too much blame on managers in contemporary football?   From what I have read Palace were the better team at Turf Moor yesterday and acknowledged as such by Sean Dyche.  When Burnley's star keeper Tom Heaton was taken off and replaced by former Charlton keeper Nick Pope, it looked as if Palace would inevitably score.  However, somehow or other Pope rose to the occasion and produced a number of excellent saves.

Two minutes from time Scott Dann inexplicably headed wide from two yards out.  Whose fault was that? The manager is not controlling the player through some kind of electronic box.   It is the players who are on the pitch, not the manager.  Of course, he is supposed to 'motivate' them, but you would think that playing in the Premier League was motivation enough.  But perhaps not.