to the Emirates tonight, and much of the pre-match interest has been about the return of one of their all-time great players, Pat Vieira. Patrick, of course, did his work a wee way down the road from here, at the old Highbury, rather than at the spiffy new Emirates ground but nevertheless, it’s an impactful reunion occasion. Naturally enough, there are plenty who wonder if he might one day be the gaffer in the home dug-out here. My splendid colleague Sam Dean runs the rule over just such a tempting teaser in this here article Sam Dean: is Patrick Vieira the Arsenal manager in waiting?
Of course, if another former Arsenal midfielder, Mr Arteta, was doing the business, nobody would be talking about this quite so much. They’ve had some decent results of late, not least beating Spurs 3-1, but being in 13th place is clearly not good enough. You wonder what the Newcastle money means for the like of Arsenal, and for that matter Tottenham, in the next say five years. They cannot all finish in the top four, can they? Top six looks the absolute most the Arsenal can hope for this term, though, and well, that’s not going to keep you in a job forever, is it?
Palace themselves are on 7 points in 14th and they are in an interesting period in their own right. They’ve been a bit of a dad’s army in recent seasons but Pat is clearly expected to bring on, and inspire, the younger generation. He’s tipped defender Marc Guehi to play for England.
Guehi became one of Vieira’s first signings at Selhurst Park when he made an £18million move from Chelsea in July.
The Ivory Coast-born England Under-21 centre-back has played every minute for Palace this season and Vieira expects Guehi to become a senior international.
“He really wants to fulfil his potential and his work ethic and concentration is really good. This is why I believe he has the attributes to be one day an international player.”
We will see what teams these two old colleagues name shortly. That’ll be on the hour, and the match kicks off at 8pm. We will also keep an eye on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, an solid source of interesting talking points and drama these days! Thanks for joining us.