Friday 19 January 2018

De Boer on the brink as Dyche proves his mettle once again ushed to trapdoor as his Palace 'project' crumbles

Burnley 1 Crystal Palace 0

Burnley manager Sean Dyche. Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Burnley manager Sean Dyche. Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Mark Critchley

A manager with a track record of maximising a limited squad's potential, one who consistently projects an air of stability and also delivers gradual, steady growth: This is what Crystal Palace were searching for.

Sean Dyche was among the candidates for the Palace job in the summer and there is every chance Steve Parish may scribble his name on a shortlist again sometime this week.

The expectation before this game was that if Frank de Boer suffered a fourth successive defeat in the Premier League, the "long-term project" he has spoken of would be cut short.

Despite a spirited response to a wretched start, with his side trailing to Burnley for 87 minutes following Chris Wood's early goal, this defeat surely pushed De Boer closer to the trapdoor.

When reviewing the match with Parish, the Dutchman may correctly claim that Palace were the better side, citing their dominance of possession and greater number of efforts on goal.

Parish, however, need only look to Turf Moor's home dugout for a manager who understands points come before projects in the Premier League.

Palace got off to a nightmare start when South Korean Lee Chung-yong wilted under the press of Johann Berg Gudmundsson and played a horrendous back-pass into no man's land without noticing that Wood was waiting to pounce.

Dyche's £15m acquisition coolly accepted the gift, arcing a delightful first-time finish over the onrushing Wayne Hennessey.

It is 93 years since a top-flight club, Preston, last lost their first four games without scoring. No wins, no points, no goals and perhaps now no time left for de Boer to change that.

Irish Independent

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