Vieira hired as Crystal Palace manager for 3rd coaching role

LONDON — Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira was hired as Crystal Palace manager on Sunday for his third senior coaching role.

Vieira signed a contract until 2024 as the replacement for Roy Hodgson, who stepped down at the end of last season after four years in charge of the south London club.

“I am really excited to have this opportunity to return to the Premier League, and manage this great football club as we begin a new chapter together,” Vieira said.

“The club has fantastic foundations in place after many years in the Premier League, and I hope we can make further improvements and continue to drive the club forward.”

The 45-year-old Vieira was fired by French club Nice in December after 2 1/2 years as its coach. Before that, he managed MLS side New York City for two years, having previously had a role in charge of the academy at Manchester City, one of the clubs in the latter part of his distinguished playing career.

New York City is among a portfolio of soccer clubs owned by the City Football Group, of which Man City is the headline team.

As a player, Vieira was best known at club level for his nine years with Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, where he helped the team win three Premier League titles and captained the Gunners to an unprecedented unbeaten league campaign in 2003-04.

With France, he was a World Cup and European Championship winner.

Palace starts the new season away to Chelsea on Aug. 14 and faces Tottenham, Liverpool, Leicester plus his old side, Arsenal, in the opening two months of the campaign.

Vieira will also have to deal with a big turnover of players after several departed at the end of last season, while the aging squad remains in desperate need of reinforcements.

Hodgson brought stability to extend Palace’s run in the Premier League to nine consecutive seasons. While this is a step into the unknown for chairman Steve Parish and the board, they will hope it is the beginning of a new era for a club that is used to battling relegation.

“I’m delighted and excited that Patrick has agreed to join Crystal Palace as our manager,” Parish said, “following successfully learning his trade at the City Group, and experiencing positive managerial spells at New York City and then Nice.”

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