Crystal Palace have sacked manager Patrick Vieira just days before Sunday’s Premier League clash with leaders Arsenal after an awful run of form saw them dragged into the relegation battle.
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The trip to face his old club at the Emirates had been billed as a must-win contest for Vieira, whose side are winless in 12 matches, but the Eagles’ hierarchy have decided to pull the trigger now.
Although sat in 12th place in the table, Palace’s miserable run of form has seen the gap to the relegation zone close to just three points.
Three members of Vieira’s coaching staff – Osian Roberts, Kristian Wilson and Said Aigoun – have also left the club, though goalkeeper coach Dean Kiely will remain.
Palace say the process of appointing a new manager ‘is underway’ and they will provide an update ‘in due course’, and it is not yet clear who will be in the dugout at the Emirates on Sunday.
A statement from chairman Steve Parish on Friday explained: ‘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 Said the very best for their futures.’
Palace have predominantly played clubs in the top half of the Premier League table since the turn of the year and will take on all eight teams below them between now and the end of the season – with five of those played at home.
Their last win came away at Bournemouth on December 31, drawing five and losing six of their 11 Premier League matches since the turn of the year.
Palace have particularly struggled in front of goal, failing to score in their last four outings and enduring a three-game run where they failed to have a single shot on target. They have netted just five times in 12 matches in all competitions in 2023, conceding 15 goals over the same period.
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