Frank de Boer’s reign as Crystal Palace manager was brought to an end after just 77 days following a dreadful start to the season.
he 47-year-old Dutchman had been appointed as Sam Allardyce’s successor at Selhurst Park on June 26 2017, charged with the task of ending the “almost unbearable” pressure of the fight for Premier League survival.
Palace had won promotion to the top flight via the play-offs in 2013, but had found life increasingly difficult as they attempted to cling on to their status and the riches it brought.
Allardyce had been hired in December 2016 with the Eagles sitting in 17th place in the table after one win in 11 games under Alan Pardew and by the end of the campaign, the former England boss had guided the club into 14th on 41 points, seven clear of the drop zone.
However, that was too close for comfort for the club’s hierarchy with chairman Steve Parish saying as he unveiled De Boer: “Some people in this room won’t have a job if we get relegated.”
The former Ajax and Inter Milan boss, who had enjoyed a stellar playing career with Ajax and Barcelona before brief spells with Galatasaray and Rangers, arrived in south London determined to to bring a new style with him.
De Boer, who had also served Holland with such distinction on the pitch, revealed on his appointment that he had rejected the opportunity to take over at Liverpool during the summer of 2012 and set out his stall from the off.
You can sit here now and say that I am the right man, but in six months you can shake hands and that’s it.Frank De Boer
He said: “In the Barcelona time of (Pep) Guardiola, everybody’s involved with attacking, but also defending; that’s what I want to bring to this club.”
Somewhat presciently, he also admitted only time would tell how successful he would be in that mission.
He said: “You can sit here now and say that I am the right man, but in six months you can shake hands and that’s it.”
Less than three months later and having presided over successive league defeats by Huddersfield, Liverpool, Swansea and Burnley without scoring a single goal, De Boer’s reign was brought to an unceremonious halt.