It took just four games for Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish to lose faith in Frank de Boer’s Total Croydon project.
In perhaps the most blatant example of the trigger-happy nature of modern football, the former Ajax manager lasted longer at Inter Milan last season than he did at Selhurst Park – and he was shown the door at the San Siro just 14 fixtures into a three-year contract.
And while Palace will surely show more faith in 70-year-old replacement Roy Hodgson, an experienced ‘safe pair of hands’ appointed to guide the club through the mess rather than revolutionise their style of play, question marks will undoubtedly be asked if he too endured a difficult start to life with the London club.
“I’ve always had the utmost respect for Roy Hodgson. He knows the situation he is stepping into and will bring a level of organisation to the team,” former Arsenal defender Martin Keown wrote in his ‘Tackle Keown’ column for The Mail.
“But if he loses his first four games, does that mean he will get the sack? What Palace have done only piles more pressure on Premier League managers.”
Hodgson could hardly face a more daunting fixture list to begin life as Palace boss. Welcoming out-of-sorts Southampton to Selhurst Park may be a great opportunity to get early points on the board but Palace are then forced to travel to both Manchester clubs before welcoming hosting Chelsea on October 14th.
There is a very real chance at Palace could lose each of the latter three, meaning Hodgson’s managerial debut against The Saints on Saturday could take on real significance.