SWANNY’S WORLD OF SPORT: A Palace farce that will run and run

Roy Hodgson.
Roy Hodgson.
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Well those Crystal Palace fans who called for manager Frank de Boer’s head must be feeling glum now.

I’d rather have stuck with a stylish, sophisticated coach than appoint an out-of-touch, well past-his-sell-by-date one like Roy Hodgson.

Frank de Boer.

Frank de Boer.

The whole farce surrounding de Boer’s sacking has again dragged into the spotlight the sheer uselessness of many of those who make managerial appointments.

Palace chairman Steve Parish made a bold statement by appointing de Boer (right) to replace Sam Allardyce in the summer once the one-time England manager had decided to take a break from the hustle, bustle and sheer pressure of managing a Premier League club in an era of untold riches, as long as Premier League status is retained.

But having handed the reins to a manager with a well-publicised fondness for a passing game, he surely had to stick with him, rather than panicking after a four-game losing start.

Especially as Palace dominated the fourth game last weekend after conceding a first-minute goal to a dreadful Burnley side.

Did Parish really expect the Palace players to make a successful transition from an Allardyce-brand of all-out defence hoofball, to a silky smooth passing, attacking game in four games? If he did he’s a bigger fool than even I imagined. Apparently donkey defender Damien Delaney was a fierce Palace critic of the new boss as if that should matter a jot.

And now Parish has compounded that error by making Hodgson his ninth manager since taking control at Selhurst Park in 2010. Yes, that’s right nine managers in seven years and Parish still believes he’s the right man to conduct a job interview.

Hodgson lost the plot years ago. He will be better suited to Palace than he was to Liverpool and England which isn’t actually saying a lot. He did okay at West Brom, but that’s a club that doesn’t expect much, not even an equal share of possession when playing against the other dull teams in the top flight.

Parish clearly expects plenty. His itchy trigger finger proves that, but handing a poisoned chalice to a 70-year-old man is downright cruel.

Hodgson is of an age where he can’t possibly relate to the young, fit athletes in the Palace dressing room any more than he could relate to the press and public when he was cocking up the England manager’s job.

Hodgson is an erudite man, but he’s stubborn and set in his ways. He has a confidence in his own ability shared by few fans. In fact he’s probably licking his lips at a forthcoming fixture list that includes both Manchester clubs and Chelsea when he really should be as frightened as his club’s supporters.

Still it will probably be a mercifully short stint in charge. Parish will probably be forming another shortlist in his head by the end of September without realising he is probably part of the problem rather than a potential cure.