Patrick Vieira’s sacking leaves Crystal Palace owners facing questions of ambition
But Vieira was sacked on Friday, and the Eagles were stuck in the kind of relegation battle they’d reportedly outgrown, playing football as dull and toothless as anything its recent predecessors served up.
Palace chairman Steve Parish was reluctant to sack the 46-year-old but felt he had no choice after a dismal form since the turn of the year as Palace were winless in 11 league games and three points over with 11 others play the drop zone lag.
The timing of Vieira’s sacking leaves Sunday’s ominous visit to champions-designate Arsenal as a free-kick and should give the new manager the international break to find his feet.
Parish didn’t trust Vieira to take over the eight remaining sixes against the other relegation-struggling clubs, but the Frenchman can be saddened that Palace’s winless run has only come against sides above them in the table, including games against five of them ‘Big Six’ and twice Manchester United.
Vieira was named to succeed Roy Hodgson in the summer of 2021 after working for Manchester City’s academy, their feeder club New York City FC and French club Nice, and tasked with transforming Palace’s style of play into a more possession-oriented one modernize based game.
After a rocky start, Palace defeated Spurs 3-0 last season and picked up points away from both Vieira’s former clubs in October 2021, with a 2-2 draw at Arsenal followed by a landmark 2-0 win against the later master City.
This time last year, Palace were unbeaten in seven games, including a 0-0 draw with City, a 4-0 win over Everton in the FA Cup quarter-finals and a 3-0 win over Arsenal. as Vieira established himself as one of football’s finest emerging coaches. They eventually finished 12th and reached the FA Cup semi-finals, losing to Chelsea.
This season, however, Palace have failed to start and have only won twice in the league since early November, wins away at West Ham and Bournemouth. Her last win at Selhurst Park was in October.
Many Palace fans will share Parish’s view that a change was needed, although most feel the blame for this dismal form lies as much with the owners as it did with Vieira
A 4-0 home defeat by Spurs earlier in the year was one of the results that prompted Vieira to change his style and return to a more cautious approach to tightening up the defence, which has deadened their attack.
They went three straight league games without a shot on target – the first team to do so since Opta began recording the data in the 2003/04 season – ahead of Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to rivals Brighton, prompting Vieira to do so , prompting its players to adopt a “new mindset” in the final third.
Vieira was hampered by misses from strikers Odsonne Edouard and Jean-Philippe Mateta but they lacked the right service and the manager failed to get the most out of talented strikers Wilfried Zaha, Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze.
Despite encouraging performances from Cheick Doucoure, Vieira has struggled to create a working midfield since loanee Conor Gallagher returned to Chelsea in the summer, while her defense has been prone to costly mistakes.
There are few players who have really improved under his leadership, despite helping Marc Guehi into the England squad.
Many Palace fans will share Parish’s view that a change was needed, although most feel the blame for this dismal form lies as much with the owners as it did with Vieira. The club are the poorest in spending in the Premier League this season and the lack of investment in January, when they were in dire need of reinforcements, suggests they were hoping to muddle through the remainder of the season.
Vieira has specifically said it was unfair to compare them to Brighton, Fulham and Brentford, who have all started as Palace should this season, because they were more ambitious in the transfer market – and he was right.
For Parish and sporting director Dougie Freedman, the question now is whether to turn to another manager with progressive principles or seek a fireman to guarantee the club’s top status and leave Palace at a crossroads.
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/patrick-vieira-sacked-crystal-palace-steve-parish-b1068135.html Patrick Vieira’s sacking leaves Crystal Palace owners facing questions of ambition