Crystal Palace Appoint Patrick Vieira as Manager

Written by Robert Sutherland

Vieira

Crystal Palace have today appointed the former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira to succeed Roy Hodgson as their manager, following a lengthy recruitment process that saw the club spend the majority of the past six weeks looking to hire Hodgson's replacement. 

The former Highbury hero, who had spells at New York City FC and Nice as head coach, has signed a 3-year contract with the club and is tasked with taking over a side going through a major squad restructuring process during the remainder of this summer. 
 
Palace appeared to come close to appointing two other managers since Hodgson's departure was announced, with former Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo close to agreeing a deal in early June and Lucien Favre all but agreeing to become manager last week only to have a last-minute change of heart. Nuno has since been appointed Tottenham Hotspur manager, while Favre is said to want to continue having a prolonged break from football. 
 
Vieira certainly doesn't have the body of work of Favre or Nuno, but he does come with a wealth of experience as a player in the Premier League and a record of bringing through young players at both of his previous two clubs. 
 
At Nice, Vieira spent much of his time fielding a predominantly young squad in Ligue 1. At a time when Palace are looking to regenerate their squad to reduce the average age, Vieira's experience in managing younger players may have been one of the key qualifying factors for the role. 
 
The major criticism that seemed to be levelled at Vieira while he was at Nice was the lack of a defined playing style. At a time where Palace are moving away from the drilled approach of Hodgson, that might be a concern. It will be key that Vieria is surrounded by a coaching team consisting of experienced heads. 
 
All that said, his win percentage at Nice never dropped below 40%, even in light of the losing run which saw him relieved of his job in December 2020. 
 
 
At New York City FC, Vieira's record was one of improvement each season, taking the club from a 17th position prior to his arrival to a 4th place finish overall in his first season and a 2nd place finish overall in his second season. It was this impressive spell at City which led Nice to hand him the job. 
 
Vieira's playing experience saw him captain Arsenal through the club's most successful spells ever as he collected Premier League and FA Cup winners medals. His career also saw him achieve domestic success with Manchester City and Inter Milan as well as winning both the European Championship and the World Cup with France. 
 
Unveiling Vieira as manager, Palace chairman Steve Parish said: "I’m delighted and excited that Patrick has agreed to join Crystal Palace as our manager following successfully learning his trade at the City Group, and experiencing positive managerial spells at New York City and then Nice, who he led to the Europa League.

"We have a lot to do to prepare in the coming weeks and I look forward to working closely with Patrick and Dougie in bringing in some new faces to help us all to a successful season."

New boss Vieira added: "I am really excited to have this opportunity to return to the Premier League, and manage this great football club, as we begin a new chapter together.

"It is a project that is really appealing to me, having spoken a lot with the Chairman and Sporting Director about their ambition and plans for the whole club, including the Academy. The club has fantastic foundations in place after many years in the Premier League, and I hope we can make further improvements and continue to drive the club forward.

"I am also very excited to experience the atmosphere the club’s supporters make at Selhurst Park and away from home too, and I know just how important that can be for the team."

With Palace's unusual squad restructuring yet to take place, it will be crucial that the new manager hits the ground running. His first task will be to determine which of Palace's out of contract players should receive new deals. Early reports have suggested that Andros Townsend and Joel Ward are likely to be recipients of contract offers.
 
Vieira will need support from the club and will have sought assurances during contract negotiations that the club are serious about player recruitment. The next few weeks should be busy. 

Official FYP merchandise is now available!

Written by FYP Fanzine

It's only taken us 13 years but we finally have our very own merch store. 

Thanks to the fantastic people at Podcast Merch we now have a one-stop shop for all your FYP merchandise needs. 

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We will also be adding new designs often so bookmark this page and check back regularly for new designs.

Head on over to podcastmerch.co.uk/fyp-podcast now to buy yourself from FYP merchandise. 

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Crystal Palace confirm signing of 23-year-old French striker Jean-Philippe Mateta

Written by FYP Fanzine

 

Crystal Palace have signed 23-year-old French striker Jean-Philippe Mateta from Mainz on an initial 18-month loan with an option to buy should he meet certain targets.

The forward, who scored 7 goals in 17 for Mainz in the Bundesliga provides competition to a front line which, bar Wilfried Zaha, has struggled to score goals. 

Mateta's career started at Chateaureux before he signed for Ligue 1 side Lyon in 2016. He struggled to make an impact in a side that was competing for the French title and in Europe, and after two seasons was sent on loan to Le Havre, where he impressed with 17 goals in 35 appearances. 

His performances at Le Havre prompted Bundesliga side Mainz 05 to make him their most expensive signing ever in June 2018, and he went on to repay that faith with 14 goals in 34 league appearances for the club.

Mateta spent much of the previous season on the sidelines, only playing for Mainz from December onwards, scoring 3 goals in 18 appearances.

His move to Palace comes as Mainz face a relegation battle with just 7 points and sitting in 17th in an 18-team league. 

Mateta's contract is due to expire in 18 months, and it is likely that his refusal to consider a new one has resulted in this move to Palace becoming possible.

On joining Palace, Mateta told Palace TV: "I'm very happy to come to Crystal Palace. I know this club from a long time ago because I have a lot of family here and it's a hot club, a hot club in England.

"I'm look forward to training, and yes, I'm very happy. Yes, of course, of course, it's my dream from when I was a child but now I can play I will show the fans of Crystal Palace what I can do.

"I have a lot of family here in London. - aunty, uncle... I know this city. When I was a child, with my mum, I came here.

"[Roy Hodgson] said he wanted me, but I know he wanted me because it's not [just] now he wants me, he wanted me before. Me also, I know this manager, a good trainer, does a lot with the team - a good team.

"I'm a striker, I like to score. I like to score! Yes, of course [I will kick the corner flag]. Yes, of course - if I score."

Where it leaves Palace's other striking options is less clear with Belgian sports outlet HLN revealing the Eagle do not intend to renew Christian Benteke's deal past the end of this seson, despite his upturn in form of late. 

It is also claimed that after a disappointing second loan spell at Selhurst, Michy Batshuayi will be sent back to Chelsea at the end of the campaign.

Listen to the latest FYP Podcast below...


 

'They all wore shinpads in training' - Darren Ambrose on why the 2010 Palace team was so special

Written by FYP Fanzine

 

Crystal Palace legend Darren Ambrose joined us on the FYP Podcast recently to chat about his time in SE25, which let's face it although was just three years was jam packed with drama.

From why he chose to join Palace from Charlton, to stories about Neil Warnock cutting his toenails to those massive games at Hillsborough and Old Trafford, Darren covered it all in an hour-long episode.

On arriving at Selhurst on a free transfer from the Addicks, Ambrose told FYP he was immediately struck with how seriously that group of players took the game back in 2009

"They all wore shinpads in training, that's what kind of guys they were," he told us. "So immediately I put my shinpads on thinking we're in for a fricking rough ride here. 

"We stopped off once on the way to a game in a park, Paul Hart was manager, there's puddles, mud everywhere and there was no moaning. Every club I've been at you'd get the superstars saying "You're taking the p here, I'm not getting out and training in a park" these guys were 100% whatever we do, diving in mud, that's what we're going to do. If you say fricking swim in the lakes, we're going do it. 

"So I had to change my whole mindset and become that kind of guy and I took that on going forward and tried to help the youngsters coming through when I became the real senior role."

That mindset, Ambrose added, stuck around at the club for years and there are still remnants of it at Palace now, but admitted that he had to adapt his appraoch when he arrived despite having played at the very top a few years before.

He added: "If I'm honest I was an ego when I first arrived, I'd played Champions League for Newcastle and I felt a bit not that I'm dropping a level but immediately it was just nipped in the bud, and they all took to me like I was a nobody and that's how you have to be. There's no big egos. It was to do with Warnock 100% but the team took it on themselves, I think Paul Hart said it, I've heard him say it before, when he first arrived he didn't even have to do team talks and that's true.

"We would take it on ourselves and know exactly what we expect off on another. Edgar Davids came in a bit later, he didn't last long because he didn't change his mindset which was still in the team there even though a few had left. He was an ego and so he should be he was a world superstar but he didn't last long because of that." 

LISTEN: FYP Podcast 300 - Palace legend Shaun Derry joins the pod

Ambrose had loads of praise for former Palace captain Shaun Derry - who also joined us on the FYP Podcast last year - and revealed why Derry was one of his most important mentors in the game.

"The way he portrayed himself as a guy, he was the captain when I fist arrived and he just took every problem every team issue of the team, of the manager on himself. One of the hardest working guys I knew, always in the gym, always first in last out, he was always taking people's problems to the manager.

"Paul Hart came in and was going to drop me. He only took 12 or 13 games at the end of the season but after two or three was going to drop me and it was only Shaun who pulled me aside and said: "Look, the manager has spoken to me, he doesn't feel you will play for him as well as you played for Neil Warnock." I thought 'well I've not been rubbish, I've just had a couple of average games and I didn't score in the first three games he was here'.

"But Shaun said: 'I have told him if you drop Ambrose you will have uproar from players, from fans from everyone and he said I've told him that this guy will keep us in the division'. And he said to me: 'So don't let me down'.

"I was crapping myself thinking right I need to start scoring now. Because he's put all this faith into me."

MORE: Roy Hodgson Needs to Focus on Crystal Palace's Strengths

Ambrose namechecked Derry as one of the most influencial people on his career in footbal and when asked why said: "He wouldn't care what age you were he's help the youngsters, he's help the senior pros and he just demanded everyone give 110% and he just optimised everything Crystal Palace was good at that era. Everyone joined him, Clint, Butts Paddy, Dannsy, Big Alan Lee, everyone was on that mindset and from that moment dot when I first arrived.

"I was a bit cocksure of myself, I'd come from Newcastle, Charlton, played Premier League, I knew I've got to stop being this way, I've got to put 100% intro training, into matches.

"I love that group of players, it's the best group I've ever played for, it's why Palace is so close to my heart. We had our rows, absolutely, me and Paddy we rowed all the time, we nearly had a fight on the pitch at Birmingham away but the love I have for that guy now is second to none, and that football club, that team there was absolutely brilliant."

Listen to the full podcast with Darren Ambrose on joining Palace, Hillsborough, that goal at Old Trafford and loads more below: