Arsenal v Sporting CP – Pictures
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Crystal Palace have sacked Patrick Vieira after 20 months in charge, with the threat of relegation looming large. The Eagles look set to be without a manager for their trip to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal on Sunday, dismissing Viera after failing to win a single game in 2023 so far.
In a statement, Palace chairman Steve Parish said: “It is with enormous regret that this difficult decision has been made.
“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.
“That said, Patrick’s impact since joining us in the summer of 2021 has been significant, and he is held in the highest regard by myself and all of his colleagues.
“He led the team to a Wembley FA Cup semi-final and respectable 12th placed finish last season playing some exciting football, which was a challenging and crucial campaign for the club given the changes we made to the squad prior to his arrival.
“Patrick has given his all to the club, and we all thank him and his team for their service. We also wish Patrick, Osian, Kristian and Saïd the very best for their futures.”
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Palace are without a Premier League win since their 2-0 triumph at AFC Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve.
Since then, Viera’s side went 12 games without victory, including seven defeats, which has left them just three points above the relegation zone, despite sitting 12th.
An FA Cup third-round exit against Southampton at Selhurst Park will have contributed to the Frenchman’s exit after his previous success in the competition.
Palace have confirmed that three of Viera’s coaching staff – Osian Roberts, Kristian Wilson and Said Aigoun – have also been dismissed.
Dean Kiely will remain in south London as a goalkeeping coach, and the process to appoint a new manager is ‘underway’.
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The decision adds a hint of zest to Palace’s trip to Arsenal on Sunday, in what has become a crucial game for Mikel Arteta’s men.
The Gunners must respond on the eve of the international break after crashing out of Europe against Sporting CP on Thursday.
With Manchester City breathing down their necks but in FA Cup action this weekend, Arsenal have the chance to enter the break eight points clear at the league summit.
But if the Eagles visit their London rivals without a manager, it would have the potential to play mind games on even the best of teams.
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