Daily Mail

Embattled Vieira one Palace loss from the sack


PATRICK VIeIRA is fighting for his job as Crystal Palace manager following a dismal winless run. Palace are without a victory in 2023 and slumped to a 1-0 defeat at arch-rivals Brighton on Wednesday night to leave the club just three points above the relegation zone. Sportsmail revealed this week that Vieira is under growing pressure and the strain has grown significan­tly since the loss at the Amex.

The expectancy is that he will be given Sunday’s game at Arsenal, but if there are no signs of improvemen­t the club could fire him.

Next week’s internatio­nal break provides Palace with the ideal opportunit­y to replace Vieira ahead of the Premier League home fixture against Leicester on April 1.

ONE of football’s problems is that too few people see beyond the present. So the keys to the house are routinely offered to a manager who has won six games while one whose team are struggling is turned round to ensure the door to the car park is in full view.

Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace is a case in point. Last season he was judged to have reinvented the wheel when improvemen­t in results was actually marginal.

Palace played better football than under predecesso­r Roy Hodgson but the outcome was similar — 48 points rather than 44.

A year on and Palace are in a deep rut. No win since New Year’s Eve and Vieira under scrutiny. But their results tell the story. They tend to lose by a single goal. Nobody hammers them. They play tight games. They compete. They just don’t currently win enough.

So, yes, Vieira faces challenges.

There is a problem to solve and it’s called goalscorin­g. But Palace don’t look likely to go down. They don’t play chaotic, reckless football — like Leeds under Jesse Marsch or Southampto­n under Nathan Jones — or appear terrified and listless like Frank Lampard’s Everton. Vieira was not the Messiah last year just as he is not a fool now. Palace chairman Steve Parish is a sensible man who runs his club well. He should hold his nerve.

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