Crystal Palace Defender Pape Souare Expresses 'Surprise' at Frank de Boer Sacking
Crystal Palace defender Pape Souare has admitted his 'surprise' at the dismissal of manager Frank de Boer this week, just 77 days after the Dutchman took charge, and only four Premier League games into the new Premier League season.
As the news broke on Monday morning, Souare was preparing to play for Palace's Under-23 side as he continues his road to recovery after a career threatening car accident.
"It was a surprise for everyone I think," he told the Croydon Advertiser.
"We got here early [for the U23 game] and I was surprised like everyone, but this is football."
Souare, who has been sidelined since last September after his crash, was yet to play for De Boer as the reserve game on Monday was his first full 90 minutes of any kind.
He also never played for previous boss Sam Allardyce, who arrived at Selhurst Park in December and quit at the end of the season in May. The Senegal man had been signed by Alan Pardew, and whoever replaces De Boer will be his fourth Palace boss in two-and-a-half years.
""We have already had three coaches, and this will now be four, since I have been injured, so I have never played with the last two," Souare commented.
"[De Boer] was a very good manager for me, he was very caring and asking how I feel and my recovery."
Ex-England manager Roy Hodgson is expected to be hired on a two-year contract to replace De Boer, making it the 70-year-old's first job back in club management since leaving West Brom for international football in 2012.
Despite disappointing with England, the Croydon-born former Palace youth player has enjoyed a good Premier League in recent seasons and remains one of the most respected coaches around Europe after previously working abroad for so many years.
He saved Fulham from relegation in 2008, oversaw a remarkable 7th place finish the following season and then guided the Cottagers to the Europa League final in 2010.
His brief time at Liverpool disappointed, but Hodgson steered West Brom to their highest place league finish (11th) in 30 years in 2011, followed by an impressive 10th place the year after.