Fiery Vieira back fighting the flak
As A player in Arsenal’s Invincibles midfield, Patrick Vieira relished a battle. Now he is finding what it is like to be in one as a manager.
The Crystal Palace boss is without a win in 2023, a run of nine Premier League games. Defeat at Aston Villa was greeted by boos from frustrated Palace supporters. And with Manchester City, Brighton and his old club Arsenal up next, Vieira must roll his sleeves up as much as when he went to war for Arsene Wenger’s great side. ‘After no win in nine, you think about it and you try to work to win matches,’ said Vieira. ‘You try to play in a good way to allow yourself to create chances and score, but we’ve had some tough games, and the next three are not going to be easy. ‘We have to face it, it’s a challenge, and we are looking forward it. I didn’t hear the boos, but I understand the frustration. The players tried their hardest.’
Palace were once described as the Team of the Eighties under Terry Venables. Hearing Vieira talk about his squad, you might think Palace are now the Team of the Eighteens. ‘The fans know where we are, and who we are and what we want to achieve,’ he said. ‘There’s a process and you have to look at the number of new players we have, how young we are, how many of them have been playing in the Premier League and their experience, because we know how important that is. ‘Those players need to be exposed to it so they can learn. And if we are all on the same page, those players will be top players in the future.’ Palace looked sound defensively despite losing to a Joachim Andersen own goal. But the attacking forays of Villa’s Matty Cash, who set up the only goal, caught the eye. Cash praised his manager Unai Emery, saying: ‘He is so tactically good that he tells me when I can go and when not to go. This time I chose the right time to go and we scored. He shows he’s a tactical master.’
ASTON VILLA (4-2-3-1): Martinez 7; CASH 8, Konsa 7, Mings 7, Moreno 7 (Digne 70min, 6); Kamara 7 (Chambers 59, 6), Luiz 6; McGinn 8, Buendia 8, J Ramsey 7 (Bailey 70, 7); Watkins 7 (Duran 85). Scorer: Andersen 27 (og). Booked: Luiz, Moreno. Manager: Unai Emery 7.
CRYSTAL PALACE (4-2-3-1): Guaita 7; Clyne 6, Andersen 5, Guehi 7, Mitchell 7; Doucoure 4, Sambi 6 (McArthur 81); Olise 6 (Mateta 67, 6), Eze 7 (Ahamada 75, 6), Zaha 7; Ayew 7 (Hughes 85, 6). Booked: Doucoure, Ahamada, Eze, Zaha. Sent off: Doucoure. Manager: Patrick Vieira 6. Referee: Craig Pawson 8. Attendance: 41,893.