Crystal Palace have confirmed that Patrick Vieira has been sacked as the club’s first-team manager after 18 months in charge. The decision comes after a dismal run of form for the Eagles in 2023, who have failed to win any of their 12 matches since the start of the new year.
The string of results have left Palace in 12th place in the Premier League table, although they remain just three points above 18th-placed Bournemouth. Palace now find themselves in a battle for top-flight survival following Tuesday’s defeat at rivals Brighton.
And the hunt is already underway for Vieira’s replacement. The bookies say the favourites are former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, the ex-Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and former Spurs manager Nuno Espirito Santo. Other candidates include Marcelo Bielsa, Michael Carrick and Vincent Kompany. As well as the Frenchman, the Londoners have also parted ways with coaches Osian Roberts, Kristian Wilson and Said Aigoun.
A statement from club chairman Steve Parish on the club website said the club were grateful to Vieira for his work at Selhurst Park but that they had made the decision to preserve their top flight status.
“It is with enormous regret that this difficult decision has been made,” he said. “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.”
The club also confirmed that Vieira’s coaching staff, Osian Roberts, Kristian Wilson and Said Aigoun, had also left the club. The club said the search to appoint a new manager was now underway.
However, it remains to be seen who will take charge of Palace for their trip to league leaders Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.
Former Gunner, Vieira, had been in charge of Palace for nearly two years, after being appointed as head coach back in July 2021. During that time, the Frenchman managed to produce a 30 per cent win-rate from his 74 matches in charge and lead them to a 12th placed finish last season.
However, things have been far more challenging for the former Nice manager this season and it’s lead to his eventual departure. The Eagles have endured a three-match losing streak, with the most recent result being a 1-0 defeat to rivals Brighton in a crucial Premier League clash that proved to be the final nail in the coffin.
It was their third defeat in a row, and rounded off four games without a goal and three games without a shot on target.
Vieira took charge of 65 Premier League matches with the Eagles and had a 26 per cent win ratio. Fans had mixed feelings about the sacking, with one calling it a “real shame”.
Another said: “What is the actual point of sacking him now with about 10 games to go?”
While one wrote: “Thank you Patrick but this was the time to go.”
Former Palace star Clinton Morrison this week warned results were not good enough. He said, “The noises at Selhurst Park from the fans, they’re not happy, obviously, with the results.
“The performances have been good, but it is not being clinical enough. We say season upon season with the club: can they get a centre forward who could score them 10-15 goals? They have evolved… they do try to dominate the football now and create chances, which Patrick implemented, but they’re not clinical enough. It’s the same old story.”
- A Tell / Daily Mail report