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December 1 2021 12.47am

Reasons to be optimistic under Vieira

November 5 2021

Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira

Opinion was split among Crystal Palace fans with regards to how they felt about the appointment of Patrick Vieira as the new Eagles boss earlier this summer.

Vieira has made a positive start to his reign at Selhurst Park. Here are some reasons to be optimistic that he can lead the Eagles to success on the field.

Eagles Proving Hard to Beat

Although Vieira will have wanted to have more points following the opening nine games of the season, his side are proving hard to beat. They have lost just two of those matches. The challenge now will be to convert some of those draws into wins.

The Eagles have drawn away to Arsenal, beaten Spurs at home and have also come away from the London Stadium with a point against an in-form West Ham team. They were the underdogs in those games and would have been expected to lose all three of them.

Palace are sixth in the EPL relegation odds from Betfair. Those odds suggest there are five more clubs more likely to go down this season than the Eagles. Hopefully, Vieira’s side can build upon the start they have made which will ensure they push towards a top half finish this season.

Exciting Brand of Football

The football played under Vieira is a much different brand to what we saw under Roy Hodgson over the last four years. Palace are being very positive even when they are the away side.

During their 2-2 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, Vieira played with a strong forward line with included Christian Benteke, Odsonne Edouard, Jordan Ayew and Conor Gallagher. He was rewarded with two goals and a point. His side also had 46% of possession in that game, much higher than away teams normally record against the Gunners.

Palace also dominated the stats in their recent home fixture against Newcastle. Although they were held to a 1-1 draw, they had 75% possession, 15 shots in the game and completed 665 passes. If those stats continue, the Eagles are going to excite their supporters.

Summer Signings Have Improved the Squad

Given the number of players who left the club over the summer, it was always going to be important that Vieira recruited well prior to the transfer window closing. The players the Frenchman has brought in have made a good impact so far.

Striker Edouard looks dangerous and had fitted into the team well. He scored a brace on his debut in that impressive win against Tottenham. There are likely to be many more goals from the former Celtic man.

Arguably Palace’s stand-out player so far this season has been Gallagher. The on-loan Chelsea midfielder has not only been a goalscoring threat, but he has also created a lot of chances for his teammates.

Another player who looks an excellent signing is Marc Guehi. The former Chelsea defender was signed for a reported fee of £18 million. That money is looking well spent as he has not looked out of place in the Premier League.

The early signs look good under Vieira, however, it will be at the end of the season that he is judged. Palace will be patient with their new manager, but he will be expected to keep the club in the Premier League at the bare minimum.

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