Home Football “Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace Sacking: Behind-the-Scenes Issues and Controversial Shaun Derry Axing”

“Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace Sacking: Behind-the-Scenes Issues and Controversial Shaun Derry Axing”

Crystal Palace’s decision to sack Patrick Vieira not only puts their Premier League survival at risk, but also derails the club’s long-term plan for success. Vieira had a successful first season with the Eagles, reaching an FA Cup semi-final and transforming the team’s style of play. However, this season has been a struggle, with Palace going 12 games without a win in all competitions.

Despite investing in youth and giving Vieira the platform and funding to spark a new era at Selhurst Park, Palace have pulled the trigger at the first sign of trouble. This is not typical of chairman Steve Parish, who has shown patience with previous managers. Palace have not won a single game in 2023, with the fewest wins, points, and goals of any Premier League club this calendar year.

The recent run of poor form has left Palace just three points above the relegation zone and drawn into a battle they looked well clear of during the World Cup break. While recent games have been hard to watch at times, with forward players looking short on confidence and a clear plan, the winless Premier League run has seen Palace exclusively face teams above them in the table, with a number of narrow losses and draws.

Vieira had been looking forward to an international break to get to grips with the squad and a run of far kinder fixtures to the end of the season following a visit to his former club Arsenal this weekend. However, such has been the drop off in performance of recent weeks that Parish and the other Palace board members may feel that the time over the break is better spent with a new manager and fresh ideas.

There have also been issues rumbling behind the scenes in south London, meaning it may not just have been the football which informed this big call. Players and figures higher up at the club were not pleased with Vieira’s unilateral decision to sack former Palace player and coach Shaun Derry in January. While the manager axed his coach, the club left the former Eagles captain on gardening leave rather than end his contract.

Vieira’s failure to adapt his tactics during this dismal run and make bold calls has hurt him. He had brought life to a squad and club who had grown tired of simply surviving under predecessor Roy Hodgson. However, Vieira had hardly been helped by circumstances and recruitment this season. While Palace’s recruitment team had a huge success in the summer Vieira arrived, signing Joachim Andersen, Marc Guehi, Michael Olise, and Conor Gallagher, that has not been followed up.

Palace pushed to bring Gallagher back from Chelsea last summer but knew it would be a big task. There was no credible replacement lined up, and the Eagles have suffered without his energy. Meanwhile, the need for a Premier League quality striker and investment at right-back – driven by Vieira – was not addressed in the summer or January.

The struggles of fellow relegation battlers Southampton and Leeds in appointing new managers will only increase the pressure on Palace to get this right. The club’s long-term plan for success has been cast aside and now hangs on one managerial appointment.

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