Crystal Palace have confirmed the appointment of Frank de Boer as their manager on a three-year contract. The former Holland international is their fifth permanent manager in four years, succeeding Sam Allardyce, who surprisingly resigned last month.
“I had a good feeling about the club and the prospect of managing a team in the Premier league was exciting,” De Boer said. Asked to outline the target for his first season, he said: “To be a solid Premier League team and not to struggle against relegation – that’s the main target. If we can do more that’s nice but first to be a very solid Premier League club.”
De Boer has been out of work since leaving Internazionale in November after three unsuccessful months there. However the 47-year-old impressed while in charge of Ajax, the club where he began his playing career in 1988 and won the Champions League seven years later. He returned in 2007 as a youth coach and went on to take charge of the first team over a six-season spell that led to four Eredivisie titles.
He is hopeful his methods can work in the Premier League. “I have my own type of coaching and style of playing,” he said. “We want to be dominant when we can but also dominate when we don’t have the ball. Also for the fans, we must try to be attractive. Palace has a very enthusiastic and passionate fanbase, so they will want to see that.”
De Boer feels he can use the disappointment of his short spell in Italy to his advantage. “I learned a lot from it,” said the 47-year-old, who revealed he had spoken to Louis van Gaal before taking the job. “I can bring that experience here to Crystal Palace.”
De Boer impressed the Palace chairman, Steve Parish, and the club’s American major shareholders, David Blitzer and Josh Harris, during a month-long process scrutinising possible successors to Allardyce.
Mauricio Pellegrino was also in the running but the former Alavés manager ended up taking the Southampton job.
Allardyce resigned on 24 May and, as a sign of the time it has taken, the club put out a tweet to show white smoke rising from a chimney to signal the news.
Parish, who revealed he had consulted Allardyce over “what we should do and who we should pick” as manager, told Crystal Palace’s website: “We have undertaken a thorough interview process to ensure we are in a position to appoint a manager of the calibre and experience that Frank brings with him. I am pleased to welcome him to Crystal Palace and I know he cannot wait to get started and prepare for our record-breaking fifth season in the top flight.”