By Bulldog Drummond
As you know, of course, Patrick Vieira (oh oh) returns to Arsenal on Monday.
Patrick retired as a player in the summer of 2011, and went to work with the youth development team at Manchester City with the grand title “Football Development Executive” working alongside another ex-Arsenal man, Brian Marwood.
He graduated to being manager of the Elite Development squad in 2013. There were reports of him possibly becoming manager of Newcastle in 2015, but nothing happened, and so he went to New York City at the start of 2016 as Director of Football taking the club to their first ever play-offs – eventually getting them to runners’ up in in 2017.
He became manager of Nice in the summer of 2018, but he was dismissed in December 2020 after mass protests by fans against the team’s performance – including incidents where the team coach was blocked. The tipping point was the poor Europa League performance which saw the group table end up as…
|3||Hapoel Be’er Sheva||6||2||0||4||7||13||−6||6|
After that, he joined Palace. Here is his overall record as manager
|New York City FC||90||40||22||28||151||137||+14||44.44|
The Palace situation is obviously not that good at the moment and compares with the final season under Hodgson unfavourably, but of course, Patrick needs time to get to know the squad and rearrange what they are up to.
|13||Crystal Palace 2020||7||3||1||3||8||11||-3||10|
|14||Crystal Palace 2021||7||1||4||2||8||11||-3||7|
It is interesting to compare Arsenal in the same way
So on this basis, it looks also as if Arsenal have declined this season, and the issue for us is of course having a completely new defence in place – and defence who have to learn the tactics of the non-tackling approach in order to overcome referee decision making.
But we can take a little heart from the league table built on the last six games
|10||West Ham United||6||2||2||2||10||8||2||8|
The point about Palace however is that they have now had eight seasons in the top division, and have on each occasion ended up between 10th and 15th, with the last two seasons seeming them in 14th.
In none of these seasons have they ever won more games than they have lost (the closest being in 2018/19 when they won 14 and lost 17), and they have never had a positive goal difference through this sequence.
In one sense there is nothing wrong with this, since the name of the game is survival, but it only takes one season beset by internal strife, lots of injuries or sheer bad luck, for them to slip that bit further and make life very uncomfortable. In 2017 they missed relegation by seven points and goal difference – which would of course be turned around by three victories becoming defeats.
Still, we must thank them… their one victory this season came on 11 September with a crushing 3-0 win over the Tiny Totts. I’d like to see Palace stay in the Premier League just so they can do that again.
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