Reasons for De Boer's sacking crystal clear

Dutchman, with four defeats and no goals, is EPL coach with shortest reign

Frank De Boer is the Premier League's first managerial casualty this season. Despite an upturn in performances, results were not forthcoming for Crystal Palace in their opening games.
Frank De Boer is the Premier League's first managerial casualty this season. Despite an upturn in performances, results were not forthcoming for Crystal Palace in their opening games.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Roy Hodgson was set to be appointed Crystal Palace's manager yesterday to replace Frank de Boer, who was sacked 10 weeks after he took over from Sam Allardyce at Selhurst Park.

De Boer's dismissal comes after he suffered four defeats from his four Premier League matches against Huddersfield, Liverpool, Swansea and Burnley, in which Palace failed to score a goal.

They are the first team in 93 years to have begun an English top-flight season in such a fashion.

Palace have turned to Hodgson after failing in their attempts to persuade Allardyce to return.

Hodgson has been out of work since he quit the England job following a humiliating defeat by Iceland at Euro 2016. He is greatly enthused by the idea of returning to Palace, where he was a youth-team player.

Hodgson's most recent job in the Premier League was with West Bromwich Albion, whom he rescued from relegation with a set of impressive results after taking over from Roberto di Matteo in February 2011.

He guided the club to 10th place the following season before leaving to take up the England post.


    4 • Frank de Boer, Crystal Palace

    7 • Les Reed, Charlton Athletic

    11 • Bob Bradley, Swansea City • Jacques Santini, Tottenham • Sammy Lee, Bolton Wanderers • Chris Hutchings, Bradford City • Iain Dowie, Charlton Athletic

    12 • Chris Hutchings, Wigan Athletic • Paolo di Canio, Sunderland • Felix Magath, Fulham

Hodgson's erstwhile No. 2 Ray Lewington was on the Palace coaching staff for three years in the mid-1990s and will presumably accompany the 70-year-old.

However, Hodgson faces a tough task as Palace play Manchester City and Manchester United away before hosting Chelsea in their next few Premier League matches.

De Boer's reign is the shortest in the top flight during the Premier League era. The 47-year-old former Ajax player and manager had just taken charge on June 26 with a three-year contract.

Les Reed lasted seven games in 2006 before being sacked by Charlton Athletic while American Bob Bradley survived only 11 last season at Swansea City. Frenchman Jacques Santini was also sacked by Tottenham Hotspur after 11 games in 2004.

Palace said in a statement: "Crystal Palace Football Club have this morning parted company with Frank de Boer. We would like to thank Frank for his dedication and hard work during his time at the club. A new manager will be appointed in due course and we wish Frank the very best of luck for the future."

The two coaches brought in by de Boer - the assistant manager Orlando Trustfull and performance coach Alessandro Schoenmaker - are also leaving.

It is the second time the Dutchman has lasted fewer than 100 days in a job, having suffered a similar fate at Inter Milan last year where he was sacked after only 85 days in charge.

Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Burnley, where Palace wasted several good chances to break their duck, left them joint bottom of the table having failed to register a goal.

The last English top-flight club to lose their first four games without finding the net was Preston North End in 1924.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 12, 2017, with the headline 'Reasons for De Boer's sacking crystal clear'. Print Edition | Subscribe