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On this day in 2017: Frank De Boer appointed Crystal Palace manager

Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer gestures on the touchline during a Premier League match at Burnley (PA Images/Martin Rickett)
Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer gestures on the touchline during a Premier League match at Burnley (PA Images/Martin Rickett)

Frank De Boer was announced as the new Crystal Palace manager on this day in 2017.

The former Ajax defender was a high-profile appointment, replacing Sam Allardyce on a three-year deal, but he was sacked 10 weeks later when Palace lost their first four league matches of the season without scoring a single goal.

He left having managed the team for only 450 minutes of game time, making it the shortest reign of the Premier League era in terms of number of matches, and was replaced by Roy Hodgson.

Crystal Palace Press Conference – Beckenham Training Ground
Frank De Boer, pictured at a press conference at Beckenham Training Ground, Kent, oversaw just 450 minutes of football as Crystal Palace manager (PA Images/Steven Paston)

De Boer, whose only win came in a second-round EFL Cup tie against Ipswich, attempted to implement a possession-based style of play and, after his sacking, he criticised the club’s players for their resistance to his approach, pointing out that the club had signed only two players to fit his philosophy.

A former defender, De Boer spent most of his professional playing career with Ajax, winning five Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Cups, three Super Cups, one UEFA Cup, one UEFA Champions League, and one Intercontinental Cup.

He later spent five years at Barcelona, where he won the 1998–99 LaLiga title, followed by short spells at Galatasaray, Rangers, Al-Rayyan and Al-Shamal before retiring.

De Boer is the second-most experienced outfield player in the history of the Netherlands national team, with 112 caps.

Roy Hodgson file photo
Roy Hodgson succeeded Frank de Boer as Crystal Palace manager (PA Images/Adam Davy)

He cut his management teeth with the Ajax youth team and as assistant to Bert van Marwijk with the Netherlands national team and in December 2010 took over as manager of Ajax and went on to win the Eredivisie title in his first season.

In 2013, he received the Rinus Michels Award for manager of the year in the Netherlands after leading Ajax to their third successive Eredivisie title.

The following year, he became the first manager to win four consecutive Eredivisie titles.

He then had brief spells managing in Serie A with Internazionale in 2016 before moving to Palace and managed Atlanta United in MLS from 2018 to 2020.

De Boer was appointed head coach of the Netherlands national team in September 2020 but left less than a year later in June 2021 after the team’s disappointing Euro 2020 campaign.

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