Football | Premier League | Arsenal v Crystal Palace | Monday, October 18, 2021
It only took seven games for a large part of Selhurst Park’s loyalists to be won over by Patrick Vieira, but as he sets off in search of a second Premier League as Crystal Palace manager on Monday, he is on familiar ground. Because it’s the night he returns to Arsenal.
The former gunner is fondly remembered for his time in North London, and he was a full-fledged figure as the club’s 2003-04 “Invincibles” captain as well as two other Premier wins. League. The former midfielder was a fantastic Premier League player during a golden age with Arsenal at Highbury, becoming one of the game’s most recognized No.4s. He will forever be etched in the history of the club for being part of this iconic achievement, but while the Frenchman is likely to receive a very good reception from his former supporters, he will be determined to leave the Emirates with three points. So far his team have performed very impressively and are unhappy that they haven’t had more wins to date.
Ahead of the game, the 45-year-old said he intends to put his emotions aside as he is fully focused on his current project, but he is considering his return. He told reporters: “I’m really looking forward to it. I had the good fortune to play for this football club for nine years. I came to this football club as a kid and left as a man. This is the club where I played my best football, I would say.
“So obviously going back will be emotional, but I’m going to put that aside because it will be important for us to perform well and score points.”
The Eagles were quick to implement Vieira’s vision on the pitch and play some great football to watch, but they must have regretted many missed opportunities. Still, they will provide a huge test for Mikel Arteta’s side, who have yet to make convincing progress in the league this quarter. They may have had a comfortable victory over bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur, but they have yet to find consistency as doubts persist with their Spanish boss.
Monday night’s clash will allow the home crowd to keep a close watch on Vieira’s performance in their first management game against them, and it could serve as an unofficial job interview for the Gunners job in the future. . If he can galvanize his Palace players to put on a show, play his thrilling football and inflict another defeat on Arsenal, he will certainly see his name move up the list of potential Stan Kroenke replacements if it all falls apart for Arteta. .
With the upward trajectory the Eagles appear to be on, Vieira’s stock as a manager is expected to increase dramatically, especially in front of all the cameras in the world’s most-watched league. But first he needs to start turning draws into wins, and he will see the trip to his former employers as a great opportunity to help his team take the next step in their burgeoning revolution.