Patrick Vieira to make the Eagles fly higher?

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2021-22 Premier League season

13 August 2021 – 22 May 2022

Premier League legend Patrick Vieira will have his first taste of management in the English top flight after taking over at Crystal Palace ahead of the impending 2021-22 season which will get underway next month.

Palace, who parted ways with veteran Roy Hodgson at the end of the last campaign, officially appointed the 45-year-old former French international this past weekend. Vieira, who won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups in his time with Arsenal, has managed New York City FC in the MLS and Nice in Ligue 1. His last job ended in December 2020 when he was sacked after a run of five straight losses.

"I am really excited to have this opportunity to return to the Premier League, and manage this great football club, as we begin a new chapter together," said Vieira.

Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend
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"It is a project that is really appealing to me, having spoken a lot with the Chairman and Sporting Director about their ambition and plans for the whole club including the Academy. The club has fantastic foundations in place after many years in the Premier League, and I hope we can make further improvements and continue to drive the club forward.”

Vieira will be tasked with taking Palace to a new level: the club had established themselves as lower middle table finishers under Hodgson, but the Eagles are hoping to begin competing with the likes of Everton, West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur further up the log.

Palace have recent history of appointing a foreign manager with ambitions of driving the club up the log, most notably the failure of Frank de Boer in 2017. Under the Dutchman, Palace lost their first four Premier League matches and failed to score a single goal – this led to de Boer’s sacking and the arrival of Hodgson.

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha
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Taking a similar path four years later is not as much of a risk, according to winger Andros Townsend, because Vieira has experience and knowledge of the Premier League.

“We took a risk with Frank de Boer and it didn’t work out, but the difference with Patrick Vieira is he has played in the English game,” explained Townsend. “He knows English football, he’s won all there is to win. He coached the Manchester City U 23s, I think it was.

“He knows English football inside out, whereas Frank de Boer was new to English football and tried to learn on the job. Vieira would be more at home and more used to English football and the way we like to play in England.”

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Published: 07/15/2021