Clyne agrees, saying the game’s changing demands have shaped his approach: “When I first started playing in defence it was more about the full-back having to defend against your winger. It’s always about: don’t let the winger get the best of you.
“As the years have gone on the game’s changed and it’s more demanding for the full-back to get forward and provide assists and be a threat going forward. Sometimes in teams there are a lot of wingers that come inside, play in the No.10 position and then it makes the full-back have to push up wider, like a winger themselves. That’s how the game has changed.
“I actually prefer it because I think it’s more entertaining. I think there are more goals, more attacks. Everyone’s attacking, so it’s definitely more enjoyable from a neutral point of view and for myself, because I like to attack and try to get forward to help out.”
It’s not just wider football that’s evolved, it’s changed at Palace, too, with Vieira encouraging his full-backs to express themselves.
“He just says to get forward whenever possible,” Clyne reveals. “Obviously he gives us the licence to get forward. We do have a lot of possession as well, so it gives the full-back time to make the forward runs and get into attacking positions. That helps a lot.
“I’d say it’s a bit different from last season, the style the new manager wants us to play. We see the ball more, it’s more about having possession and pressing higher up the pitch to try and win the ball back as quickly as possible. It’s more on the front foot, which is my game.
“I like to use my pace and I like to be in possession of the ball, try to create chances and do the best I can for the team.”
There’s one more parallel to draw with Clyne and his current teammates, but it isn’t one you’d guess. In fact, when Marc Guéhi first captained Palace against Watford in February this year, few people across the fanbase could guess: the last captain younger than Guéhi? The answer: Nathaniel Clyne, against Leicester City in January 2012. He was 20 years, eight months and 28 days old.
We ask: Do you remember being captain against – we falter – “Leicester,” Clyne interjects immediately. “I remember that.”
He continues: “I didn’t know I was the youngest but, yeah, looking back I must have been. It was only for one game, though. It was still a big thing; I didn’t know the procedures of being captain. I had to, at the start of the game – I don’t know if they’re still doing it now – go and see the referee, speak to the referee. The referee tells you about the game and you meet the opposition captain.