The transfer began with a Joel Ward throw-in deep in Crystal Palace territory and ended, 58 seconds later, with Conor Gallagher firing an angled end into the nook of the Brighton web.
In between, the ball travelled via each Palace participant, together with goalkeeper Jack Butland. The affected person, 20-pass build-up carved Brighton open and whereas the objective was not sufficient to win the sport, the point out of it nonetheless prompts a smile from Patrick Viera every week later.
“I knew it was a pleasant objective when it comes to the build-up from the again, however I did not realise within the second that each participant had touched the ball as a result of I used to be too into the sport,” he tells Sky Sports activities. “It was good to see it again, as a result of it exhibits the way in which we need to play.”
Vieira is talking over Zoom from the membership’s Beckenham headquarters, the place, during the last six months, he has overseen a change. The Premier League desk exhibits Palace in roughly the identical place as final season. However, from personnel to enjoying type, just about all the pieces else is totally different.
Vieira’s predecessor, Roy Hodgson, did high-quality work throughout his four-year tenure, offering stability in tough circumstances and serving to to ascertain Crystal Palace’s presence within the Premier League.
However the soccer was practical fairly than thrilling and there was an urge for food for change. Vieira got here in with a remit to overtake the group and modernise the type and that’s exactly what he has executed.
“That was the path the chairman [Steve Parish] wished to take and it is among the causes I’m right here as properly as a result of he understood the way in which I wished the group to play,” he says.
“It was a danger, clearly, to alter the type, and much more when you have got that type of transition of gamers, the place you lose 12 and usher in eight younger guys with out a lot expertise within the Premier League.
“So, if you find yourself what was going to be the primary 10 video games of the season [which included meetings with Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City], you see all the weather are there to have a tough interval.
“However with the assist to implement my philosophy, and with the togetherness of the soccer membership – and after I discuss togetherness, I’m speaking in regards to the chairman, [sporting director] Dougie (Freedman), and the employees – we managed to get via it, permitting me to give attention to the way in which I wished to group to play.”
Vieira shakes his head instantly when requested if the dimensions of the duty at handcrafted him assume twice about taking the job – “I used to be actually enthusiastic about coming,” he says – and Palace followers are glad he did not.
The 45-year-old, a three-time title-winner with Arsenal who reduce his tooth as a coach in Manchester Metropolis’s academy earlier than spells answerable for New York Metropolis FC and French facet Good, has instilled optimism within the stands and introduced freshness on the pitch.
A raft of youthful summer season signings, together with Gallagher (21), Marc Guehi (21) and Michael Olise (20), has lowered the typical age of the facet by two years, and whereas Palace sit eleventh within the Premier League desk forward of Sunday’s assembly with Liverpool, the underlying knowledge ranks them because the eighth-best performers within the division.
Do the numbers provide encouragement to Vieira?
“Once you have a look at the information facet of issues, you possibly can say, ‘Yeah, we needs to be a bit of bit larger within the desk’, and that is Positive,” he says. “However on the opposite facet, it is about making an attempt to grasp why you aren’t the place you’re speculated to be, or the place you need to be.
“It is about understanding and looking for the issues that can make us a greater group so we are able to enhance these type of particulars to get higher outcomes. So, general, sure, it is Positive, but it surely’s not sufficient for what I need. I’ll all the time be demanding and wanting extra from the gamers as a result of I consider they’ve the potential to do extra.”
The primary areas for enchancment are clear to him.
“I would love the group to be extra ruthless in each bins,” says Vieira.
“Meaning on the defensive facet, however on the identical time, once we are successful 1-0 and we have now a few possibilities to attain the second, I need us to have that type of ruthlessness to attain the objective that will enable us to go two forward.
“It’s about having a maturity, and that comes with expertise. Hopefully, within the second half of the season, it will likely be one of many areas we actually enhance, but it surely does take time to get to that.”
Vieira’s philosophy is significant to him. “I knew that if I made a decision to enter teaching,” he says, “this is able to be how I want to see my groups play, as a result of after I go to observe matches, I like this type of depth, possession and making an attempt to play ahead and rating objectives.”
However he’s a pragmatist too. In October, he steered Palace to a 2-0 win at Manchester Metropolis with simply 32 per cent possession. On Sunday towards Liverpool, he is aware of they may have to be versatile once more.
“The objective towards Brighton is sweet as a result of it highlights the way in which we need to play, however we’re not going to attain objectives like that each weekend,” he says. “We have to perceive that scoring in several methods is as necessary as scoring in that method.
“It is necessary to be in keeping with type, however on the identical time it is necessary to have the best gameplan relying on the group you’ll play. Clearly, if you wish to have possession whenever you play towards Manchester Metropolis, for instance, you realize that’s… not inconceivable, however actually tough.
“So it’s about figuring out that and saying, ‘What are we going to do as a substitute?’ That’s one other facet of the sport we have to enhance as properly, when we do not have the ball. How can we be extra stable? How can we go from having the ball, to not having the ball?
“That’s one thing we have now to study and we have now to place extra emphasis on that as a result of these sorts of groups have the philosophy and the gamers, so it will likely be tough to match them on that facet.
“I am not telling you we’re going to change our philosophy, however we have now to keep in mind the power and the standard of the opposition group.”
That definitely applies to Palace’s subsequent opponents.
Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Vieira’s former membership Arsenal on Thursday within the Carabao Cup semi-final confirmed they continue to be a formidable proposition even with out Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane however Crystal Palace will at the very least have the visceral assist of a bouncing Selhurst Park behind them.
Underneath Vieira, they’ve accrued 71 per cent of their Premier League factors there, and solely misplaced twice – to Aston Villa and West Ham – in all competitions. The connection between followers and gamers feels stronger than ever this season.
“It is massively necessary,” says Vieira. “Since I have been right here, I actually perceive the connection between the followers and the membership and the gamers. There’s a ardour, there’s caring, there’s actually a love that the followers present to the gamers, and I consider it’s massively necessary for the gamers, employees and everybody to indicate that love again.
“One of many methods we are able to try this once we are on the sector is to play with ardour and love and willpower, as a result of these followers deserve that.”
Vieira makes use of Gallagher for example. The Chelsea loanee has earned plaudits for his objectives and assists this season however it’s his work fee that has most endeared him to the followers, in line with his supervisor.
“I feel the way in which that Conor performs displays rather well that connection we have now with the followers,” says Vieira. “This is among the explanation why he is among the followers’ favourites as properly. These qualities are what our followers love, when gamers on the sector play with enthusiasm, with happiness.
“In fact, they perceive the sport too. They know that making errors, passing the ball on the incorrect time, is part of the sport. However what they need is for the gamers to play with soul and coronary heart. I feel they’ve been doing that fantastically properly.”
Watch Crystal Palace vs Liverpool stay on Sky Sports activities Premier League from 1pm on Sunday; kick-off 2pm