Former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira was appointed Crystal Palace manager in July 2021, following the departure of Roy Hodgson. The 45-year old had previously served as manager of New York City and Nice. Returning to the Premier League- this time as manager, his performance has not been too poor. Crystal Palace sit 13th on the table with 25 points from 23 games. They even produced a famous 2-0 away victory over current champions Manchester City back in October 2021.
Patrick Vieira Not in Support of Over-reliance on Wilfried Zaha
Patrick Vieira Encourages Teamwork Amongst His Players
For some time, Crystal Palace have been without the trio of Cheikhou Kouyate, Wilfried Zaha and Jordan Ayew, who all travelled to Cameroon for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. But now that the competition is over, Patrick Vieira has charged his players to step up their game instead of being over-dependent on Zaha, who is one of the club’s stand-out players. Speaking about the Ivorian star, Vieira said;
“The talent is fantastic to have but what is most important is the team. We built a squad where players take confidence and belief in their ability. We have a couple of players who can score and create chances.
“Of course, we are stronger with a really good Wilfried Zaha on the field because of his ability to create danger, but it’s important for him to understand he needs the team around him to perform and do what we know he can deliver.
“Wilfried is an important player for us, for the football club. There is no doubt about his talent. What is important and what I want is other players to take responsibility; I don’t want to put all that responsibility on one player.
“When you are Wilfried Zaha with his experience and what he’s done in the Premier League the focus and eyes are on him. That’s normal. But the players around him will need to take responsibility.”
Crystal Palace managed just one win in four games when Zaha was absent. On his Premier League return, he scored the equalizer against Norwich City in a 1-1 draw on February 9, 2022.
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