Arteta launches staunch defence of Arsenal's transfer policy
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Crystal Palace manager and former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira has revealed that he once discussed a controversial switch to the white half of north London to join Tottenham. The Frenchman established himself as one of Arsenal’s all-time greats during his time with the club, helping them to win three Premier League titles and four FA Cups.
He played in eight victories over Spurs before leaving Arsenal in 2005, tasting defeat on just one occasion back in 1999.
Vieira went on to add his first win against the club from the dugout on Saturday, with his Palace team claiming all three points from Nuno Espirito Santo’s side at Selhurst Park.
Wilfried Zaha’s second-half penalty opened the scoring before debutant Odsonne Edouard struck twice in the closing stages to round off a 3-0 victory.
Although Vieira is widely regarded as a club legend at Arsenal, things could have turned out very differently if he had decided to sign for their bitter rivals.
He told reporters prior to Saturday’s match that he once discussed the possibility of a move to Spurs, explaining that he was keen on a return to English football after leaving the Gunners.
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“That was a period where I really wanted to come back to the Premier League,” said Vieira.
“Knowing Harry [Redknapp] quite well and admiring him as a manager, we had a conversation about different options.
“But at the end, there was no chance of me coming to England and going to Spurs, no chance.”
Vieira would not have been the first high-profile star to play for both Arsenal and Tottenham, with Sol Campbell infamously going the other way in 2001.
The former England defender enjoyed a successful five-year spell with the Gunners and saw his reputation at Spurs tainted forever as a result of the move.
Meanwhile, Vieira will be hoping that Palace can maintain their newly-found winning momentum in order to climb into the top half of the Premier League table over the coming weeks.
Saturday’s win over Spurs saw the Eagles move up to 11th place ahead of a tough test against Liverpool next weekend.
Reflecting on his side’s performance, Vieira waxed lyrical over the strong mental outlook on display that helped Palace to what was ultimately a comfortable win over strong opponents.
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“I think we wanted to improve that [mental] side of our game,” said the Palace boss in his post-match press conference.
“How can we compete being calm and composed? We learn a lot and there’s still more to come from this team.
“Today we competed well with calm and concentration on the details, winning the game. I was really pleased about the way we defended as a team.
“We didn’t give them a lot of space to create chances, we compete in all our drills. if you want to win games this is something you have to be, consistent.”
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