Crystal Palace sacked manager Patrick Vieira yesterday after a miserable run of one win in 14 Premier League games sucked them into a relegation battle. The London club, without a win in 2023 under the former Arsenal and France midfielder, are 12th in the table but are just three points above the drop zone.
The bottom nine clubs are separated by just five points, cranking up the pressure as the season enters its final months. The dismissal of the French World Cup winner takes the number of managerial sackings during the 2022/23 campaign to nine, one fewer than last season’s total, which equalled the Premier League record.
“It is with enormous regret that this difficult decision has been made,” chairman Steve Parish said in a club statement. “Ultimately, results in recent months have placed us in a precarious league position and we felt a change is necessary to give us the best chance of retaining Premier League status.”
Parish praised Vieira for making a “significant” impact at the club. Palace finished 12th last season and reached the FA Cup semi-finals. The club said in their statement that the process to appoint a new manager was under way. Three members of Vieira’s coaching staff – Osian Roberts, Kristian Wilson and Said Aigoun – have also left Selhurst Park.
Vieira, 46, replaced Roy Hodgson before the start of the 2021/22 season and was praised for implementing an exciting brand of football. But this season they have scored just 21 goals in 27 games - only three clubs have scored fewer. Their 1-0 defeat by Brighton on Wednesday was their third loss in a row.
Palace travel to leaders Arsenal on Sunday, with under-21s boss Paddy McCarthy taking charge. Vieira, who won three Premier League titles as a player with the Gunners, previously managed New York City and Nice. Parish said that the mood in the camp was good despite the team’s miserable run.
“You know, everybody loved Patrick, genuinely,” he said. “The players had all the time in the world for him. You saw from the performances he never lost the players at all, they were all running and playing for him. I think things just weren’t happening, so the mood was good, it was fine, but obviously we’re hoping that there’s a bit of fresh impetus, a few different ideas, maybe we surprise the opposition a little bit doing something different.”
Hodgson is reportedly among the favourites to take charge, even if it is only until the end of the season. The 75-year-old former England manager announced his retirement in 2021 after four years at the helm of his boyhood club. Other names being linked to the job include ex-Leeds manager Jesse Marsch, former Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre, and Ralph Hasenhuttl, who was dismissed by Southampton in November.
Crystal Palace, without a win in 2023 under Patrick Vieira, are 12th in the table but are just three points above the drop zone. (Reuters)