It’s fair to say that Frank de Boer and Crystal Palace don’t exactly feel like a natural fit.
The former Ajax boss – who has been out of work since an ill-fated tenure at tumultuous Inter Milan at the front-end of last season – has spent both his playing days and the early part of his coaching career exclusively at title-chasing mega teams.
In other words: the rough and tumble of a relegation-threatened Premier League side represents something altogether new, and although it’s wrong to completely typecast a football manager (unless their name is Arsene Wenger) you can expect a steep learning curve for anyone taking such a radical career jump.
The Dutchman was quick to point out he is a realist in his inaugural press conference, but there are also those that expect him to bring with him an idiosyncratic style of play. Given that he was schooled in the Cruyff-led Ajax tradition of total football, idiosyncratic here means a free-flowing, pass-and-move approach.
Whilst that’s sure to rouse some excitement from Crystal Palace supporters – who have watched both Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce in their managerial hot-seat over the last few seasons – there are a number of the playing staff who might begin to find opportunities few and far between.
Here are some of the players to whom that might apply – and, conversely, for whom the appointment represents a step in the right direction.
More often than not, grand visions of playing style and philosophy tend to take a back-seat to grinding out results when your club is staring relegation in the face. That’s what makes this appointment such an interesting one: de Boer is a genuine break from tradition for Palace.
It’s a bold move that fans have every right to be excited about, but the jury is very much out on whether de Boer can be a success away from Ajax. If the owners back him in the transfer market, though, there’s no reason that he can’t be.