Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen backs Frank de Boer to succeed at Palace
NASHVILLE, Tn. -- Tottenham's Jan Vertonghen believes new Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer is ready for the Premier League but he warned his former coach to get used to teams playing for a point.
De Boer managed Ajax to four consecutive Eredivisie titles from 2010 to 2014, the second with Vertonghen as captain, before an unhappy spell at Inter Milan where he was sacked in November after just 14 games in charge.
The former Netherlands centre-back, 47, succeeded Sam Allardyce at Selhurst Park last month and he has promised to play attractive and dominant football -- in contrast to his predecessor's more practical approach.
Vertonghen, who spent six seasons in Amsterdam before joining Spurs in 2012, believes De Boer is well-equipped for England but says it will harder for him to play his way.
"Obviously the leagues are different. The Premier League is much more competitive than the Dutch league," Vertonghen said on the final day of Spurs' preseason tour of the United States.
"I'm not going to say the Dutch league is naive but they all play to win. In the Premier League, you have teams with a different idea. Sometimes that may be difficult and different but he was here early. He had a preseason to work in, he will be well prepared.
"He knows the Premier League, I know that. He has a lot of quality in the team. Palace have a lot of quality players already, particularly up front."
Vertonghen is one of three of De Boer's former charges at Spurs, along with Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld, but asked if his success at preparing players for the Premier League would translate to the dugout, he said: "That's not a guarantee.
"Me, Christian and Toby -- I know he follows us. And not just against the top teams. He's one of those guys who watches every game he can. He will know how the Premier League is and how difficult it is. It's a great challenge for him."
Vertonghen's current manager Mauricio Pochettino is also a former international centre-back and the Belgian says he has learned from both men. He credits the Spurs boss with his form last season, which he believes was his best in England.
"I've learned a lot from them, on and off the pitch. They were both leaders, both captains during their careers," the Belgian added. "Great leaders and great managers now. I'm blessed that I could learn from them in the probably most important years of my career. I have to thank them for this.
"Last season was definitely my best at Spurs. At Ajax, I had a couple of good years as well but it's hard to compare, obviously. On a high level, definitely. I had the first year [here] as well, when I scored goals but in the way I performed, I'm very happy and as I said I have to thank the manager for that."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.