Frank de Boer Appointed Crystal Palace Manager- The Perfect Fit?

 

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Photo Credit: BBC Sport Website 

At 2pm this afternoon Crystal Palace confirmed the appointment of manager Frank de Boer. The Dutchman has signed a three-year contract with the Premier League club. Amidst the appointment, one may question- is Frank de Boer the right manager to finally fit the football club?

Following the departure of former manager Sam Allardyce last month, Crystal Palace were once again left searching for a new manager. Despite Allardyce guiding the club to safety last season, the former England boss resigned upon an alleged dispute with the board over the clubs transfer budget. Then shortly after Allardyce’s departure, he confirmed his retirement from football management.

For Palace fans this would have been an all too familiar feeling. Since Alan Pardew was sacked last season, the managerial picture at the club has been unclear. Even during Allardyce’s tenure at the club, fans remained somewhat unsure of his future at the club, prior to the end of last season.

Since returning to the top-flight four years ago Palace have been successful in remaining afloat. Their most successful season back in the top-flight was under Pardew as they finished 10th in the 2014/15 season. Also in their first season back in the Premier League Tony Pulis guided the club to an 11th place finish, in what is still remembered as a remarkable turnaround.

Despite the club not struggling for safety over the past four years, they have essentially lacked the figure of a long-term manager.

The appointment of Frank de Boer is an encouraging one. After a legendary playing career with the likes of Ajax and Barcelona, De Boer stepped into management. Subsequently his first managerial job was with former club Ajax. During his time in Holland as Ajax manager De Boer would win four consecutive Eredivisie titles.

Shortly after resigning from his role at Ajax, de Boer was then appointed manager of Inter Milan. However he would only last three months at the San Siro, citing a lack of direction and leadership at the club. It was a short and frustrating time in Italy for the former Dutch international.

Per the BBC Sport website dBoer stated the following “The aim is to be a solid Premier League team, not to struggle with relegation.” In addition to this De Boer also added “That is our main target – if we do more that’s nice.”

In recent years Palace fans have been provided false hope, however there may be new-found hope for the club. De Boer is a figure who has been in the game for sometime and he also possesses a different perspective of the game.

Three years ago Southampton appointed Ronald Koeman and found great success under his guidance. Despite not many playing up the possibility of success under Koeman, Saints were more than impressive under the former Barcelona player. Who is to rule out a similar possibility for Palace under de Boer?

The appointment of Frank de Boer may provided a new lease of life for Crystal Palace. As I previously said, de Boer is someone who has been in the game for a long time. Could the club finally have found the right manager?

Thanks for reading! Make sure you follow me on Twitter @AaronPatel97.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jay Rodriguez- The Unfortunate Saga of An Underrated Player

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Photo Credit: BT Sport Online

If there is any current footballer in the Barclays Premier League who can be considered unlucky- then it would have to be Jay Rodriguez. The Southampton midfielder has endured a tough three-year period, which has been ridiculed by injury. 

Cast your mind back to the 2013/14 season, this was Southampton’s second season back in the top-flight. This was also former manager Mauricio Pochettino’s first full season in charge at the club. Over the course of that particular season, the Saints proved to be a surprise package. In addition to this they also began to uncover a handful of young prosperous English talent.

Most notably Jay Rodriguez led the way for the Saints. The former Burnley player finished the season as top scorer, scoring 15 league goals. Rodriguez enjoyed himself in an impressive season under Pochettino. He would also earn an England call-up in November 2013, which remains his only international cap to date.

Among the English talent that blossomed at the club, such as; Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw & Adam Lallana, it was Rodriguez that perhaps displayed the most prominence.

At the culmination of the 2013/14 campaign English fans would have been drawing up their ideal England squad for the 2014 World Cup. There is no doubt majority of fans would have pitched the idea of having Rodriguez on the plane to Brazil. In addition to this it would not have been surprising if he was in the mind of then England manager Roy Hodgson.

However on April 5th 2014, Rodriguez’s unfortunate saga began. After being stretchered off during a match against Manchester City, it was revealed that Rodriguez had suffered an anterior cruciate ligament. Therefore this injury ruled him out for 11 months, thus in missing out on the 2014 World Cup in the process.

Furthermore due to the extensive damage of the injury, Rodriguez would not play a single game for Southampton during the 2014/15 season.

Finally after 16 months on the sideline, Rodriguez returned to action for Southampton on August 6th 2015. Upon returning to league action he scored his first Premier League goal for two years, against Sunderland at the back-end of August 2015.

Last season Rodriguez finished the season with five goals in 24 appearances. unfortunately for the 27 year-old recent seasons have flickered on and off. While it was far from his best season, there appears to be re-growing stability in the still potentially promising role that Rodriquez can still play for the Saints.

In recent weeks there has been mounting speculation regarding Rodriguez’s future as a Southampton player. The former England international has been linked with a move away from St Mary’s. It has been reported by the Telegraph that West Bromwich Albion are in-talks over a £12m deal for the Saints player.

If West Brom can secure a deal for Rodriguez, then they would have a valuable player for next season. But while his services can be valuable, many would question his overall fitness in the long-term, over the course of a full season.

There is plently Rodriguez can offer to most sides and still only aged 27 years-old, there is more to come from him.

Thanks for reading! Make sure you follow me on Twitter @AaronPatel97.