MARTIN KEOWN: Palace have made a MISTAKE sacking Patrick Vieira
MARTIN KEOWN: Crystal Palace have panicked and made a grave mistake in sacking an outstanding young manager… the timing feels particularly hurtful when Patrick Vieira was preparing to take side back to Arsenal
- Crystal Palace sacked Patrick Vieira as boss on Friday after a run of poor form
- The Eagles have failed to win any of their last 12 games since the start of the year
- Sportsmail columnist Martin Keown thinks Crystal Palace have simply panicked
Crystal Palace have made a grave mistake in sacking an outstanding young manager.
They have panicked and the timing feels particularly hurtful when Patrick Vieira was preparing to take his side back to Arsenal, the club he still loves.
I visited Palace’s training ground last month and spent the day shadowing him. I saw how involved he was in training, how he interacted with players such as Wilfried Zaha, Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise on a one-to-one level, how he was creating a great working environment for the staff.
There was a perfect harmony between Vieira and his players, who I suspect will have taken Friday’s news to heart.
Palace haven’t won in 2023 but their fixture list could not have been crueller. It’s almost like they were told their Premier League season was being split in two – you’re facing the top half of the table before March’s international break, and then the bottom half after it.
Crystal Palace sacked Patrick Vieira as the Eagles manager on Friday after a run of poor form
Sportsmail’s Martin Keown (right) went to meet his former team-mate at Palace recently
Amid this demanding run, Palace secured credible draws against Manchester United, Newcastle, Brighton, Brentford and Liverpool. Apart from Tottenham, the games they lost were by the odd goal. This didn’t smack of a club in crisis. After Arsenal, eight of Palace’s 10 games to go are against sides in the relegation race.
Vieira sacked Shaun Derry as a coach in February over disagreements about how to manage this squad. Vieira is a big believer in supporting players, especially the youngsters.
It will leave a bad taste in his mouth to learn that in the wake of his firing, there is talk of Derry returning.
So much has been made of the lack of shots – yet when they went to Brighton on Wednesday, they had 11 attempts. Palace’s players were fighting for their manager and the board should have trusted Vieira to turn things around. Sadly, he will not get that chance.
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