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May 21 2022 11.01am

Vieira can take Eagles to new heights

March 17 2022

Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira

After years of finishing in the bottom half of the Premier League standings, Crystal Palace are showing promising signs things could be on the up in seasons to come writes Gordon Winter.

The influence manager Patrick Vieira has had at Selhurst Park is clear in his first campaign in charge and the ambitious Frenchman looks like he could be the one to help Palace take that next step.

Palace Proving Tougher to Beat

While the Eagles' position battling in mid-table appears to be a familiar one, there are some stark contrasts to how they fared in their last season under Roy Hodgson during the last term.

Palace, who are 2/1 in the Premier League betting odds to finish in the top half of the table this term, lost 18 of their 38 games last season on their way to finishing down in 14th place in the standings.

It is logical, then, to assume that the likes of Paddy Power Premier League Betting Tips will have highlighted the improvements over recent months, as Palace have proven themselves to be tough to beat this season.

After 29 games of the current campaign, Vieira’s side had only lost nine times. Again in contrast to the last term, the Eagles only managed 41 goals in the campaign, while they have already found the back of the net 39 times in their first 29 outings.

The stats look better across the board and just shows the impact Vieira has been able to have in his relatively short time at Selhurst Park. Palace’s performances against title contenders Manchester City just shows the progress made by the team compared to previous years.

A remarkable 2-0 win on the road at the home of the champions in October, was backed up by BBC's report of a goalless stalemate against Pep Guardiola’s side in mid-March.

Looking back to last season, it was City who ran out 2-0 winners at Selhurst Park, following a 4-0 victory over the Eagles at the Etihad. Rolling over against the bigger teams has been a rare occurrence this season and again shows what Vieira has been able to bring to the club.

Foundations in Place For Next Season

It has certainly been a solid first campaign so far for Vieira in his first managerial job in the English top flight. Of course, the former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder has a wealth of experience in the competition from the playing perspective but that does not necessarily transfer to the dugout, as others have shown.

While the summer offers opportunities for Vieira to bring in more of the players he wants to improve the squad, there will be big questions on two players the Eagles can keep.

Conor Gallagher has been the standout player for Palace this season but his loan spell will be up at the end of the season. Vieira has made it clear there will be discussions with parent club Chelsea over Gallagher’s future and whether the Eagles can make a permanent swoop for the talented midfielder.

Meanwhile, the ongoing Wilfried Zaha saga will undoubtedly have a new chapter, with the Ivory Coast forward continuously linked with a move away to pastures new.

If Vieira and the club can secure Gallagher and Zaha for next season, while bringing in fresh recruits in the summer, then there could well be exciting times ahead for the Eagles.

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