Gary Neville had his doubts over Crystal Palace – but that changed after 2-2 draw at Arsenal

Respected pundit Gary Neville says Crystal Palace’s display in their 2-2 draw at Arsenal has dispelled his fears they could be dragged into a Premier League relegation scrap.

The Eagles were heading for maximum points in north London until Alexandre Lacazette struck in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time. But Neville, working for Sky Sports, was left impressed by Patrick Vieira’s approach as he analysed one of their matches for the first time this season.

“I thought taking it over from Roy Hodgson would be a really difficult – he did a great job there,” said the former Manchester United and England international.

“To go in as a little bit of an inexperienced manager there would have been an element of everyone thinking: ‘What happened to Frank de Boer? That didn’t go well. How will Patrick do? He hasn’t managed in the Premier League before.

“This is the first time I’ve been able to watch them live and on the big tactical camera we have. They were really well organised and really buying into what he wants from them, it’s clear what he wants from them.

“I genuinely don’t think they’ll have a problem. I wondered how this transition [would go]. They had a distinct style under Roy and then people come in with aspirations of ‘I’ll change Crystal Palace into something which is more beautiful’. I didn’t think it was [against Arsenal] – they are still quite compact, still quite aggressive and still winning the ball on the counter attack, but maybe a little bit higher up the pitch.

“It was a really good performance. They’ve had a good start to the season.

“They’ll be okay and that’s refreshing from what I think we all thought at the start of the season where it could be a tough one for them.”

PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD

 


 

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