Patrick Vieira did not get his tactics wrong in the latter stages of Crystal Palace’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Monday night, according to journalist Tom Barclay.
The Eagles were held to their fifth draw in eight league matches under Vieira, leaving them on eight points and down in 14th place in the table.
What happened against Arsenal?
Returning to Arsenal for the first time as a manager, Vieira saw his side struggle early on at the Emirates, and they fell behind inside the opening 10 minutes thanks to a close-range Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang strike.
Palace fought back after the interval, though, and turned the game on its head with goals from Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard.
With eight minutes remaining, Vieira opted to make a defensive-minded change, replacing Edouard with James Tomkins. This move backfired, as Arsenal equalised deep into stoppage time through Alexandre Lacazette.
Speaking on talkSPORT the following day, former Palace owner Simon Jordan was critical of Vieira for encouraging his team to sit back in the closing stages rather than trying to kill the game off.
How has Barclay reacted to Simon Jordan’s claim?
Palace also conceded an injury-time equaliser last month against Brighton. However, Barclay feels that Vieira’s decision to try to tighten up his defence late on made sense, and he has put Palace’s trend of shipping late goals down to bad luck.
Reacting to Jordan’s claim about Vieira’s tactics, Barclay told GIVEMESPORT: “I was listening to Simon Jordan on talkSPORT talking about Palace in the last 10 minutes going within themselves, and they should have stuck at it. But, if I was a fan, particularly away from home, I know Arsenal aren’t quite the team they used to be, but you realise that you try and see it out.
“And the balance of probabilities that you can concede again in the 95th minute is so low. Maybe they brought it on themselves, but I think it’s just incredibly harsh, and you can’t expect that to continue.”
ANOTHER Champions League COMEBACK for Man United! Hear full reaction on The Football Terrace…
Does Vieira need to be braver when closing out games?
Managers trying to protect a lead in the final minutes of a game is nothing new, and this probably wouldn’t even be a discussion if Palace had managed to edge past Arsenal.
Yet the south London club have been pegged back twice in stoppage time now, so it seems that Vieira’s current approach isn’t working.
Against the Gunners, Palace enjoyed much of their success through their high press, winning the ball back in midfield for both of their goals. In hindsight, they should have continued with this style of play, rather than allowing Arsenal to control the game in the last 10 minutes.
Vieira should learn from this experience, and realise that he should urge his players to keep driving forwards all the way to the final whistle from now on, otherwise the team are going to continue to throw away points this term.
Read More – January Transfer Window 2022: When does it open, when does it close and which players are going to move?