While Ronald Koeman is almost a Premier League veteran, Frank de Boer is making his debut with Crystal Palace. Who will prevail, and who could fail?

Europe’s elite leagues have always been filled with some of Holland’s finest players and managers and this year is no exception. In Ronald Koeman and Frank de Boer, the Premier League has two of the most successful Dutch managers in recent history.

Koeman is preparing for his second season as Everton manager and his fourth as a Premier League manager while De Boer will be making his debut in the most competitive league in Europe this season, leading Crystal Palace.

Koeman wants to build on solid first season at Goodison Park

After two impressive campaign for Southampton – seventh in 2014/15 and sixth in 2015/16 – Ronald Koeman decided to take the next step by joining Everton in the summer of 2016. In terms of league ranking, The Saints and The Toffees might not differ much but the financial status of Everton allows Koeman to really compose his own squad at Goodison Park.

The Dutchman might have lost his star striker Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United. However, that is always going to happen when the real big sides come knocking and throw some cash on the table. Everton simply don’t have the pull factor of a United or Liverpool and therefore players will still leave.

This summer, though, has shown that with the money made available by the new owners Everton can spend big. It’s something completely new for the fans, who have already welcomed as many as seven players. Notable signings are Wayne Rooney, Davy Klaassen, Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane. All four are players that would most probably strengthen a top-six side in England and makes it a real statement of intent by the club.

With the new signings, Everton fans will be expecting their club to challenge for a top-six spot. And despite the quality they currently possess, that will be unlikely. If Koeman finishes seventh and goes on a run in the FA Cup, he has achieved the maximum with Everton.

Predicted League finish: 7th

De Boer needs good start to life at Palace to prevent further damage to his coaching reputation, something that can be broken and made in the space of weeks or months in football. Former Dutch international Frank De Boer knows all about that. He managed Ajax for six years between 2010 and 2016, picking up four league titles. After the 2015/16 season, De Boer was ready for a new challenge and left Ajax. Inter Milan then came calling but what should’ve been a success story turned out to be a nightmare.

After just three months in charge, Inter sacked De Boer due to bad results. So in three months, De Boer had damaged a once flawless reputation. Now, nine months later, De Boer has a chance to put things right as he has become manager of Crystal Palace on a three-year-deal.

Palace survived the drop last year but are expected to be involved in the relegation battle once again this season. De Boer has signed three players so far to help him in his first season in England. Jaïro Riedewald came over from his former side Ajax, while Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been signed on a one-year loan deal from Manchester United and Chelsea, respectively.

It’s highly possible that De Boer will not be ready in the transfer market just yet, however, with the squad he has now, De Boer can play the possession based game he prefers. It’s different to the kind of football that is normally being played by bottom-half teams, but De Boer is the type of manager that can make it work.


League finish: 12th

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