Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira sees a connection with Brighton’s Graham Potter

Patrick Vieira revealed the club’s documentary ‘When Eagles Dare’ helped him understand the rivalry.

George Sessions
Sunday 26 September 2021 09:00
Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira will face Brighton manager Graham Potter for the first time on Monday (Dominic Lipinski/Mike Hewitt/PA)
Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira will face Brighton manager Graham Potter for the first time on Monday (Dominic Lipinski/Mike Hewitt/PA)

Patrick Vieira believes Brighton boss Graham Potter is a good example for him to follow on his quest to be a success at Crystal Palace.

Potter is into his third season with the Seagulls but comparison can be drawn between him and the new Eagles manager.

Vieira has taken over from Roy Hodgson who spent four years in charge at Selhurst Park and achieved notable results with a pragmatic style of football.

The former France international is in the process of making Palace more possession-based, which was also the case for Potter back in 2019 when he replaced Chris Hughton – who had also enjoyed success with Brighton while utilising more defensive tactics.

Ahead of Monday’s first meeting between the managers at Selhurst Park, Vieira said: “What is really positive is that Graham took over a club with a manager who was successful but playing in a different way.

“He managed to keep that success with his philosophy in place and how he wants to play the game. I think this is a good example for me of what I want to do in this football club.

“I arrived, Roy has been really successful in the last couple of years and it’s not about me changing everything because they’ve been doing some really good stuff in this football club.

“It’s about me coming with different ideas but keeping the foundation that Roy has been building.”

Ex-Arsenal captain Vieira was involved in plenty of grudge matches during his time as a player in the Premier League and revealed he learned the origins of Palace’s rivalry with Brighton by watching the club’s documentary ‘When Eagles Dare’ this summer.

The docu-series was released on Amazon Prime Video in June and charted a three-year spell where the Eagles were close to going bust before current chairman Steve Parish led a consortium to save the club. Episode four shows a glimpse of the hatred between the Eagles and Seagulls, with the duo clashing in the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-finals in 2013.

Vieira added: “I know the trouble that our football club went through and I understand how both fans are about this game.

“Arriving to this football club, I was looking at the documentary because it was important for me to fully understand what this football club was about. This documentary made me really understand the club and the people around me.”

Two goals from Wilfried Zaha earned Palace a memorable 2-0 win at the Amex in 2013 on their way to Premier League promotion and they have remained in the top flight ever since.

After coming through the club’s academy, the 28-year-old relishes the chance to face Brighton and has scored seven goals in 13 appearances against them, but can also find himself targeted in an attempt to get him to lose his cool.

“Wilf has been here a while now and he understands this kind of game, so his experience will be important for the team,” Vieira insisted.

“I don’t want him to change, I want him to play with the same kind of passion because he is a winner and I want that kind of winning mentality to be translated to the rest of the team. This is his personality and I like to see him like that on the field.”

Vieira also revealed first-team coach Shaun Derry, who played in a 5-0 win over Brighton in 2002, has been a key figure in the build-up to Monday’s match.

“Shaun has been talking with players individually,” the Palace manager said.

“This is why it is really important he is part of the coaching staff, for the love and passion he has for this football club, also for the experience that he had as a player in this club.

“He is a really good help for myself to send a couple of messages to the players because nobody knows this club or those kind of games better than Shaun.”

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