Having been confirmed as Palace’s new manager, Frank de Boer was unveiled at a press conference at the Eagles’ Beckenham training ground and tackled questions from the media.
A packed press room fired questions at the Dutchman, flanked by chairman Steve Parish, allowing him to reveal more about what interested him in the vacancy at Selhurst Park, what he wants to achieve in SE25.
There were questions on a range of topics, including:
How he heard of Palace’s interest: “Steve and I had a talk together with my agent and I had a good feeling about the club. The prospect of managing a club in the Premier League was very exciting and I think there are almost no weak teams in the league, so I’m very excited to be manager of this club.
“A friend of me congratulated me saying that to be a Premier League manager you are one of the 20 managers in the biggest league in the world and I can be very proud of that.”
Palace’s potential: “It’s a club that can grow further and further because English clubs in the Premier Le ague can spend a lot of money, and we can do something well with that. There is the prospect to be a solid Premier League club and this is the most important thing for me right now, not struggle for relegation. If we can do more that would be nice, but we want to be a stable club.”
Time to prepare the squad: “Pre-season is normally six weeks and that is enough time because the most important game is the 12th August and we have to be ready. In that time we can be ready – I’m convinced of that.
“I have my own type of coaching and style of play, but I want us to play dominant when we can. I want it to be attractive for the fans; we have a great fanbase and they want to see that kind of football. If everybody does this well, we can achieve that. Every team now has to be able to play two or three different systems and also styles but we have enough time to teach them.”
Advice from fellow coaches: “I spoke to Louis van Gaal a few months ago just to find out what his experience was of being a Premier League coach. He is always very good to me and we have always stayed in contact; he was the first one who congratulated me with this new job. He gave me some good tips.”
Wilfried Zaha: “He is already a key player in the squad and it is nice to see that he loves to play for Crystal Palace and wants to be that key player. You want those kind of players when you go to see a game and he can be very important to us.”
Palace’s young players: “The club have a famous youth academy and they have raised some good players. I will give youth an opportunity when they are good enough and it’ll be interesting to see how talented the players are. If we can get some of them training with the first-team that would be fantastic.
“When Martin Jol [was at Ajax] he didn’t spend much time watching the youth academy or give players chances. Ajax is famous for their academy so when I came there I felt that young players wanted to leave because they didn’t get a chance. I want to stop that feeling here. It’s important, it’s in the club’s DNA. The fans see players like their Zaha as their hometown boys.”
Difference between England and Holland: “The intensity is the biggest difference between the Dutch league and the Premier League. It’s also easy to explain because they are much more experienced here – when you are 24 you’re young here, but in Holland you are old. Therefore the intensity is much higher and we will see that in training to make sure we are ready for 12th August.”
Improving Selhurst form: “If you don’t want to struggle against relegation the home games are very important. We have to get more points in Selhurst Park and with the fanatic fans behind us it’s possible. We need the fans, they are very important and even in the not-so-good times they supported the club, and I’m looking forward to sit on the bench and hear them shout and motivate the team.”
Going back to Holland for players: “When someone is good enough and I think that they are good reinforcement for the team, then I will do that but there are a lot of other players that I might be interested in and they can be from the Premier League or the Dutch league because I know that a little bit better. The most important thing is that you have to sign players that can make a difference for the team.”