Premier League

Premier League: how Patrick Vieira transformed Crystal Palace

If Crystal Palace is far from being the most famous and reputable London club in Her Majesty’s Kingdom, this team is nonetheless the one playing one of the most attractive football since the start of the year. 2021-2022 in the Premier League. And the appointment of Patrick Vieira on the bench of the Eagles, on July 4 to succeed the iconic Roy Hodgson, is far from trivial to this real breath of fresh air on the side of Selhurst Park.

And yet, nothing foreshadowed such a great adventure for the 45-year-old French coach. After having suffered a stinging setback for his first league match on Chelsea’s lawn (0-3) or even undergoing an elimination that stains Watford (0-1) in the 2nd round of the League Cup, the former coach of OGC Nice had to wait for its 5th official match to glean its first victory. And what a success, since his men have spent three at Tottenham (3-0). A great performance which, although followed by a logical defeat to Liverpool by the same score, served as a detonator for the Eagles having successfully taken off.

Since this debacle at Anfield, on September 18, and before receiving the Aston Villa from Steven Gerrard this Saturday (4 p.m.), Crystal Palace is simply undefeated, that is to say for 7 meetings. This beautiful series, having brought the club from the southern suburbs of London to 10th place in PL and especially 3 points behind Europe after 12 days, Patrick Vieira’s men have been able to shape it by assimilating the playing principles of their 45-year-old technician. Even if the results were slow to materialize, Vieira never reneged on its principles of play and its players continued to practice consistent, attractive and attacking football, all while seeking to have control of the ball (52.4% average possession in the league).

If it is able to dominate the debates, this team also knows perfectly how to make sharp offensive transitions to hurt its opponents, as evidenced by its victory at Manchester City (2-0) or its draw conceded on the wire against Arsenal ( 2-2). Because yes, Patrick Vieira and his family, who have lost only twice since the start of the season in England and who know not to lose if they cannot win (7 draws), like to annoy the leaders of the Premier League . The transformation of Crystal Palace, usually labeled as a team playing good old English football, can also be seen in the numbers. The residents of Selhurst Park are the 6th Premier League attack (18 goals scored) and the 7th defense tied with Arsenal, Brentford and Tottenham (17 goals conceded).

More than honorable statistics that drastically change what the Eagles supporters were used to seeing, who despite everything remain feverish on set pieces (9 goals conceded in this way). With an experienced player like Christian Benteke who performs (4 goals, 1 assist), a Wilfried Zaha (who will also become the player who played the most games with the Eagles, overtaking Julián Speroni and his 405 appearances). also essential (4 goals, 1 assist), an Odsonne Édouard well acclimated to London life (3 goals), and an interesting Jordan Ayew in the game (1 assist), not to mention an Eberechi Eze on the return after a long injury, Palace has extremely interesting attacking potential, capable of competing with the Kingdom’s best defenses in many areas.

The player symbolizing the most this improvement on the side of Crystal Palace is probably the excellent Conor Gallagher. The attacking midfielder on loan from Chelsea is currently carrying out a 2021-2022 cannon exercise, having notably enabled him to become an English international during the last international break. Involved in 7 goals in 11 games played, the 21-year-old has turned into a real conductor often targeted as the main danger to be watched and contained by his opponents. In view of the elements proposed by this great team of Crystal Palace, the partners of Joachim Andersen, the former central defender of OL, can in any case legitimately aspire to evolve a notch higher in this Premier League which still reserves us many surprises.

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Premier League: how Patrick Vieira transformed Crystal Palace
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Ref: https://www.footmercato.net