Patrick Vieira’s appointment at Crystal Palace in the summer was one that was met with plenty of intrigue and praise by fans and media alike.
After Roy Hodgson’s exit at the end of his contract, the Frenchman was brought in for just his third senior role in management after spells with New York FC and Nice in Ligue 1 where he had mixed success.
He was tasked with completely rebuilding the squad after a host of first-team exits and was given the keys to overhaul the style of play in the side.
The former Arsenal captain signed Marc Guehi permanently and Conor Gallagher on loan from Chelsea, Odsonne Edouard from Celtic, Joachim Andersen from Lyon, Michael Olise from Reading and Will Hughes from Watford to bolster his options.
He’s overseen a change of style from a rigid defensive unit where the entire attacking outlet centred around Wilfried Zaha supplying some magic and everyone else trying their best to be hard to beat.
Instead now, Palace are able to share the load with attacking talent and also control games with possession.
That was evident in their trip to The Emirates on Monday night in the Premier League, as they left with a point and 54% possession of the ball after an exciting 2-2 draw.
Arsenal took the lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, before goals from Christian Benteke and Edouard gave Palace a well deserved lead. Vieira’s side looked to keep the ball to see the game out until the final 5 minutes where they sat back to soak up pressure, only for Alexandre Lacazette to equalise in the 95th minute.
It was a blow for the boss and the visiting team, but it was a sign of the progress that the club have made in a short space of time.
They’re still difficult to beat, with only two defeats so far but they’re still trying to figure out getting wins over the line with just the sole win so far. Five draws show that they’re still figuring it all out.
But Vieira seems to have bought in to the Crystal Palace way. The fans love him, the players love him and he’s seeing progress with each and every game.
Exciting times if you’re an Eagle…