Premier League manager news: Arsenal legend in the frame at Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace target Patrick Vieira

Former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira is a potential candidate for the Crystal Palace manager’s job, according to The Athletic.

What’s the latest news on Vieira to Palace?

Speculation over the manager’s position at Selhurst Park has been mounting recently, with current boss Roy Hodgson out of contract in the summer. The 73-year-old is yet to agree a new deal with the club.

This has left the door open for a possible change in personnel in the dugout in the coming months. Sean Dyche, Eddie Howe, Frank Lampard, Steve Cooper and Valerien Ismael have all been linked with the hotseat, and now Vieira has emerged as another option for the Eagles.

How has his managerial career gone so far?

Vieira started his coaching career by working with Manchester City’s youth teams, before being handed his first role with a senior team when he joined New York City FC at the start of 2016.

During his two-and-a-half year stay, Vieira’s side managed to win 40 of their 90 matches with the Frenchman in charge, and finished second in the league standings in 2017.

This earned him a move to Nice in the summer of 2018. In his two full seasons at the helm, Vieira led the Ligue 1 outfit to seventh and fifth-placed finishes. However, following a run of five straight defeats, he was sacked in December 2020.

What team would he inherit at Palace?

That is not clear at all at the moment. Palace have 11 players out of contract in June, indicating that there could be a major overhaul of the playing staff this summer.

The team’s defence could change drastically in particular, with the likes of Gary Cahill, Patrick van Aanholt and Scott Dann all waiting to see if they will be offered new deals.

There have also been reports linking Wilfried Zaha with a move away from the club, which is likely to be a concern for any incoming manager, given that the Ivorian has been directly involved in 11 league goals this term.

Is this a gamble from Parish?

If Palace chairman Steve Parish does appoint Vieira, it would be somewhat of a gamble.

Since taking over in 2017, Hodgson has been a safe pair of hands at the club, ensuring that they remain comfortably above the drop zone each season. The team have never finished below 14th under Hodgson, and that looks set to continue this year.

Meanwhile, Vieira has not managed in the Premier League, so this would be a step into unknown territory for him. Of course, he played in England for a decade across two spells, but coaching in the top-flight is a different challenge altogether. Things also ended badly at Nice, as the side lost all of their games in his final month, and were knocked out of the Europa League.

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Palace fans may be wary of such a risk being taken. The last time the club went with an unproven Premier League manager, it did not work out well, as Frank de Boer oversaw the team losing their first four league matches without scoring a goal. 

If Vieira gets the chance his chance to manage in England, he will hope that he fares a lot better than de Boer, but the Dutchman’s struggles offer a reminder that the grass is not always greener when it comes to bringing in a young, promising coach.

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