When Sam Allardyce quit as Crystal Palace manager, a natural scramble began for a replacement. Despite keeping Palace in the Premier League, Allardyce decided it was time to step away from the club (possibly football altogether) and that left Claudio Ranieri leading the betting to be his replacement. Having worked wonders with Leicester City, many thought he could be the perfect man to revive a Palace side that were, for want of a better word, lacklustre for much of last season.
However, when the chips were down, it was former Ajax defender and Dutch footballing legend Frank De Boer who took up the reigns. Now, we know the Dutchman did well in his homeland with Ajax wining four titles. Unfortunately, his spell at Inter was too brief for us to know whether he can inspire a team to success outside of the Netherlands, but we’ll certainly find out in 2017/2018.
Bookies Betting on De Boer
According to odds makers inside the Sun Bets football betting hub, the appointment of De Boer has helped make Palace 5/1 to finish in the top 10 and 9/2 to end the season in the relegation zone. To put that in context, Swansea City (a team that finished one place behind Palace with the same points last season) are 6/1 for a top ten finish and a markedly worse 9/4 to go down.
Does this mean De Boer is being hailed as the second coming at Selhurst Park? Certainly not. However, many believe he can help the team evolve and move away from the organised, no nonsense style of football that Allardyce brought in last season. If we look back at De Boer’s career as a player, loyalty was undoubtedly one of his best qualities. After joining Ajax as a youth, he went on to make 328 appearances for the club between 1988 and 1999.
From there he bounced around from Barcelona to Galatasaray, Rangers, Al-Rayyan and Al-Shamal before retiring with honours ranging from the Dutch league title to the Champions League on his CV. As well as being experienced and successful, De Boer had a certain flair for a defender that helped him score 43 domestic goals and 13 as an international. Naturally, this approach to the game has carried over into De Boer’s managerial career.
De Boer As Solid a Manager As a Player
Looking at the stats, De Boer had a win percentage of 60.31% from 262 games. With 158 wins, 57 draws and just 47 losses, it’s clear De Boer knows how to win, but how will this play out at Crystal Palace? Well, there’s a strong chance De Boer will bring a certain amount of creativity to the mix. In fact, with talk of Palace potentially making a move for Robin van Persie, it’s clear De Boer wants to bring an attacking flair to the first team.
Another quality De Boer possesses is his believe in possession. Coming from Ajax and Barcelona has given De Boer an appreciation for possession football as espoused by the likes of Johan Cruyff. Indeed, having played under Cruyff, De Boer knows how to craft a team that can dominate possession and control matches. This is something that could be his undoing against top clubs such as Chelsea and Manchester City. However, if he can make this strategy work against teams with a direct style such as Stoke, it may prove to be hugely successful.
De Boer Has Youth on His Side
The final plus point to De Boer’s appointment is that he will nurture the Palace youth team. Having been through the legendary Ajax youth system as a player and continuing this tradition as a manager, De Boer will want to see young talent coming through the ranks. Without the money to buy the latest Premier League hotshots, this is clearly a smart move and something that could pull Palace a few spots up the table next season.
Will De Boer turn Crystal Palace into title challengers? Almost certainly not. However, if he can find his feet quickly (something that’s not easy to do in the Premier League), there’s every chance he could create some much needed daylight between The Eagles and the relegation zone in the coming months.
This article was written by Dan Smyth is a freelance sports and betting writer with almost a decade’s worth of experience in the industry. After starting out in poker, Daniel now covers a range of betting pursuits with previews, news reports and opinion pieces.