Can Frank de Boer get Crystal Palace playing like Ajax?

Dutch manager is tasked with 'reducing the anxiety' for Eagles fans as he aims to build a 'solid' side

Frank de Boer
Crystal Palace have sacked manager Frank de Boer
(Image credit: Chtis J Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images)

Frank de Boer is the new manager of Crystal Palace and the Dutchman has promised he will soon have the Eagles playing like Ajax.

De Boer, who replaced Sam Allardyce in the Selhurst Park hotseat, has signed a three-year deal with the south London club and chairman Steve Parish wants him to turn Palace into a powerhouse.

"I was attracted by the opportunity of managing in the Premier League," said De Boer, who was sacked by Inter Milan last season after just three months in the job. "This is a club that can still go further and further. Every English club in the Premier League has money so there is the possibility to do something. There is a lot of perspective for this club to be a solid Premier League club."

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The 47-year-old has spent much of his football life with the legendary Ajax, making over 300 appearances as a player and then coaching them for nearly a decade, first with the youth set-up and then the senior team. The Dutch club are known for developing youngsters to play exciting and expansive football, and De Boer says he sees no reason why he can't bring that to Palace.

"I want a team where the fans are excited to come to our games, to see a team that wants to win and wants to fight for every minute," he said. "That's always the starting point for me. [At Ajax] it's also in our DNA to try and play technical football and dominate. When you do that and do that well it's a plus, it's attractive and it looks nice.

"We are not naive. I want to play dominant when we can be dominant. But we want to dominate with and without the ball. You can be dominant without the ball by trying to move the opposition where you want them to go."

It was that vision that attracted Parish who, since buying the Eagles in 2010, has gone through six managers. De Boer, who won 112 caps for his country, is the first non-British coach to be appointed to the position and the chairman explained why he'd gone for the Dutchman over the other 36 candidates who reportedly applied.

"I talked to all the potential managers and said 'we need an evolution over a period of time'. We've been in the bottom three two seasons in a row for home form, sooner or later that's going to catch up with us. Frank's number one brief is to reduce the anxiety for me and the supporters."

De Boer will meet his squad on Friday to start their pre-season training and their first opportunity to bring a touch of Ajax to the Premier League will be against Huddersfield on 12 August 12.

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