Why Patrick Vieira deserves credit for the start he has made to his rebuilding job at Crystal Palace

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Patrick Vieira has moved quickly to get his players believing in his methods at Crystal Palace.

Many would have expected the task of unpicking four years of Roy Hodgson shape and pragmatism to take far more than a couple of months on the training ground, but the Frenchman has largely managed to do so with just seven games of the season played.

The string of new signings has certainly helped. Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen are an entirely new prospect at the heart of defence, solid and aggressive out of possession but calm and composed on the ball to get Palace playing.

Conor Gallagher has injected life into a midfield which had grown stale during Hodgson’s final season after the Eagles decided to move for Michy Batshuayi on loan instead of Gallagher a year ago.

Palace are now fluid and fun to watch, that much has been clear from games against Tottenham, Brighton and Leicester City in recent weeks.

The task at hand for Vieira following the break is to get them playing his way for 90 minutes. Palace’s muscle memory kicked in against Brighton as they dropped deep late on and eventually conceded a heart-breaking last-minute equaliser to Neal Maupay to drop two deserved points. The first half against Leicester, where they found themselves two down despite being on top, was also a concern.

Should the Arsenal legend be able to get his side playing with confidence throughout 90 minutes, those draws will quickly turn to victories.

The return from Eberechi Eze from injury in the coming months will certainly help and, after scoring his first goal for the club against Leicester, Michael Olise will surely grow in influence as we move towards Christmas.

But Vieira already has Palace signing off his hymn sheet. Now is the time to double down and make it count.

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