Patrick Vieira is a childhood – and even adulthood – icon to thousands of people in football. His marauding presence naturally made him an inspiration for a whole generation of fellow midfielders in the parks, playgrounds and pitches.
But it wasn’t just budding midfielders who looked up to Vieira, with Palace forward Jordan Ayew revealing his own admiration for the French manager.
“It’s great to see [someone] I looked up to when I was a child today managing me,” Ayew told Premier League Productions. “I never thought that would happen, I never dreamt of that.
“It’s a different approach - attacking. He wants us to defend together, attack together. There is a lot of intensity as well. It’s positive, it’s positive and we’re doing well. We just need to keep working, have belief in ourselves and we’ll do better and better.
“He wants to win every game because he’s a winner. His winning mentality is transferring to us. Everyone is pushing and everyone wants to do well and everyone wants to give his best for the team.”
Reflecting on a loss to Liverpool, Ayew said: “I think there were a lot of positives, and obviously the negatives are we conceded three set pieces. It’s part of the game. We need to improve, be ready for the next game and do better.”
And this Monday, the Eagles have the perfect chance to show their improvement: facing Brighton & Hove Albion in an evening Selhurst clash.
With his own piece of history in the rivalry coming at the Amex in February 2020, Ayew looked ahead to the game:
“We saw it against Tottenham: the stadium was really, really bouncing. We want that to be the case for every game. The game on Monday we will do our best for the stadium to be bouncing like that.
“I’m really looking forward to it… it’s not there to be played, it’s there to be won. We know it’s going to be a very, very tough game because it’s a derby and Brighton are really good. They’ve started really well but we have the qualities to put them in danger to win the game.
“It means so much to them [the fans], it means so much to us, to the whole club and to the whole community.
“I’ve had good moments against Brighton. Over there we won 1-0 when I scored and when Christian scored the last-minute goal were two great moments I’ve had in Palace v Brighton.”