Patrick Vieira has stated that ‘some things don’t change’ from his Arsenal days when you come to a place like Anfield and how it’s ‘challenging’ facing-off against Liverpool, as he told BBC Sport.
Liverpool trio Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita were the ones who put the Arsenal legend and his Crystal Palace side to the sword in his first game as a manager against the Reds on Saturday afternoon.
During his days at Arsenal, Vieira would have had some battles out on that Merseyside pitch, but now he has to fight those wars from the touchline.
It didn’t go his way yesterday, but his team did produce a number of moments that left the home crowd on the edge of their seats, including some questionable refereeing calls.
The Premier League legend shared his thoughts on decisions going against his team because they were playing at Anfield and how he doesn’t think that should be the case.
“I think when you come into the place like Anfield then a lot of the decisions will go in their way,” Vieira told his post-match press conference. “That’s the way it is. I don’t know whether that’s the way it should be.
“I believe there were a couple of situations where I believe a couple of decisions didn’t go in our way.
He later told BBC Sport: “We knew it was going to be a difficult place to come. To come to Anfield, you need a little bit of luck and we didn’t have that, especially the first 15-20 minutes.
He was then asked about Anfield always being tough when he was an Arsenal player and how some things don’t change:
“Some thing’s don’t change. When you look at the stadium, the story of the football club, that’s going to be challenging for every football club.”
A lot was made of Vieira’s appointment in the summer and whether one of the great midfielders of his generation could translate those on-field performances into his coaching.
The World Cup winning France international has had previous stints in the MLS and his home country with Nice, but nothing that stood out of the page.
But those in the Selhurst Park boardroom, after the departure of Roy Hodgson, opted to push towards Vieira’s direction.
And whilst it’s still early days, five points from five games is a healthy start for a team that many felt would really struggle this term.
There’s no doubt that the performances have also looked a lot better than the results suggest, which is another plus for the Highbury hero.