Arsenal fans to welcome back ‘club legend’

Patrick Vieira will bring his Crystal Palace side to the Emirates on Monday evening

Friday, 15th October 2021 — By Steve Barnett

Arsenal jab 2

MIKEL Arteta is expecting an electric atmosphere at the Emirates on Monday night when “club legend” Patrick Vieira returns.

Vieira made over 300 Premier League appearances for the Gunners, and was the captain of their 2003-04 “Invincibles” team that went through the entire league season without losing a single game.

Having since turned his hand to managing, Vieira took over at Crystal Palace in the summer. He has made the Eagles hard to beat, and Arteta admits he doesn’t know what to expect from Monday’s encounter. Quizzed on whether Vieira will get a good reception from the Gooners, Arteta said: “I have no doubt that that will be the case.

“He is an Arsenal ­legend and I hope he gets the reception he deserves for what he did for the club, not only as a player but also what he transmitted as a person.

“He was a captain of the club in the most successful era and it is great to have him back.”

Looking at Vieira’s Palace team, Arteta added: “I don’t know how they are going to set up, they have done it in different ways and have used different players in – most of the time -– similar formations.

“So let’s see how the game develops.

“Patrick knows the league much better, probably better than any other manager because he has experienced it himself as a player.

“You can see the touch that he is trying to put in the team and the things he is trying to implement there. It will be a tough game.”

Arsenal are one of the lowest-scoring teams this season with five goals, and Arteta admits it’s vital for that to change.

The Gunners boss said: “The players we have available here to work with is very limited because of internationals, but certainly something we can do better and improve on is our ­efficiency in front of goal. When we get that balance right it will ­obviously help us to win more game.”

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