Despite having only been named Crystal Palace’s new manager on Monday morning, Frank de Boer has revealed that he has already done plenty of scouting when it comes to his new team, and is relishing the challenge of managing in the Premier League.
The Dutchman has penned a three-year contract with Palace and with the new season on the horizon, he is thrilled to have the chance to get to grips with English football for the first time, and believes there is enough talent already at the club to work with.
Speaking for the first time as Palace boss, he said: “I’m very excited because it’s been a long period where I haven’t managed a squad, but I’m also excited to be a manager in the biggest league in the world. Crystal Palace is a great club with fantastic facilities to work in and a fantastic fanbase, so I can’t wait to start.
“I did my homework and we have a solid squad. Of course, they struggled last season especially in the beginning, but with Sam Allardyce they managed to get out of the relegation zone. We have a very solid squad with some very good players, with Benteke the most famous as well as Zaha.”
With the Eagles squad reporting back for pre-season training over the course of the next week, De Boer is keen to evaluate what he has at his disposal before dipping into the transfer market as he tries to instil his attacking philosophies into his new players.
“I want to know everyone first; that for me is very important,” he revealed when pressed for his transfer plans. “I of course have my ideas because I have watched videos on the squad so I might know there might be a player that can be interesting for us, but I firstly want to see everyone and then we can make decisions.
“I try to get my teams to play dominant football and if we don’t have the ball then we want it back as quickly as possible. If you can play with that kind of energy, it’s nice for the players but it’s also nice for the fans because they see a team who wants to work and they get energy from the players. I want to play offensive football but also not be naïve because Crystal Palace struggled last year so we know what our place is.
De Boer came through the famed Ajax academy as a player, and went on to oversee the development of the Amsterdam giants’ youngsters before taking the reins for his first managerial role. Having nurtured the likes of Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen amongst many others, he is keen to bring through youngsters from the Palace academy and see if they can help him achieve his aim of helping the Eagles progress in the top-flight.
“I’m interested in the academy and I will give young talent a chance to come into the first-team and train with them if they are good enough,” De Boer added. “That is also a positive thing for the academy because they see that the club is not only buying players and begin to think ‘if I am a good player then I can try with the stars in the first-team’.
“I like that we have a long-term policy and an idea of how we want to do things. Of course, the road is sometimes bumpy and you’d prefer a straight line to get to where you want to go, but everyone knows that it is not that easy. I think that if we have a good idea and good people around, then we can make a solid squad and club out of this.”
To hear more from De Boer, watch his first interview as Eagles manager now.