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Patrick Vieira thinks ‘too harsh’ decision unfairly prevented a win over Newcastle United

1 month ago

Patrick Vieira was of course one of a number of managers who turned down the chance to come and work for Mike Ashley, when the then(!) Newcastle United owner was looking for a new manager after forcing Rafa Benitez out of St James Park.

Instead, the former Arsenal midfielder remained at Nice for another year and a half before the French club sacked him in December 2020, then out of football for seven months before Crystal Palace appointed him in July (2021).

Patrick Vieira missing out only by a matter of days on facing the man (Steve Bruce) who eventually did snap up the chance to be Ashley’s main man back in July 2019.

Graeme Jones instead was in temporary charge and his line-up was clearly a statement of intent to go all out for a clean sheet and at least a point to steady the ship. Steve Bruce having left a serious mess behind as Newcastle hadn’t won any of their nine matches and were in the relegation zone due to only three points accumulated from a possible 24, with 19 goals conceded in only eight PL matches it was was three more than any other PL club (until Norwich went to Stamford Bridge yesterday…).

After the final whistle and his team having only managed 25% possession (21% in the first half) throughout the game and very limited time spent in the attacking third, Graeme Jones was more than happy to concede that this was a point won via gutsy defending and an outstanding defending and a superb Wilson goal out of nothing.

What did Patrick Vieira make of it though?

“It was frustrating because I think we did enough to take three points.

“We need to be more clinical in front of goal and we had enough chances to score more than one goal.

“The reality of our world is scoring goals, conceding goals.

“When you look at the game today, we had enough chances to score more than one…and we didn’t.

“They [Newcastle] created half-chances and they scored.

“We can’t say that we have been unlucky all the time, we have to work on that [finishing and defending], we have to improve. 

“He [Christian Benteke] is in a really good period and his confidence is higher, he is working hard for the team and he is creating chances, [but] today he should score more than one goal.

“The goal we conceded, the first contact the ball bounces back on the Newcastle player, but it was a fantastic goal…nothing that I can be frustrated about the goal we conceded.

“[But] Today when you look at the number of chances we created and at the end you just get one point…we are frustrated, the players are frustrated, I’m sure the fans wanted more.

“When I went back to the dressing room I saw the [disallowed 87th minute disallowed goal] incident.

“That was a decision that maybe was too hard, too harsh on us, [but] that is the view of the referee, we have to accept it and move on.”

I think a pretty fair overview from Patrick Vieira and as with pretty much every VAR initiated decision, whoever comes out on the right side of it will claim it was the correct decision, whilst whoever is on the wrong side after VAR intervene will claim they have been badly done to.

On this occasion though it was a clear foul and when you saw the replay it was always going to be overturned after the VAR alert.

No doubt Patrick Vieira very frustrated as his side are playing some decent football and yet have drawn six of their last eight Premier League matches.

Indeed, they could and should have picked up four more points in the space of less than a week, Arsenal getting a lucky 2-2 draw on Monday with the last kick of the game, whilst yesterday Benteke could and should have had a hat-trick.

As for Newcastle United, this is the first point of the post Ashley and Bruce era and it was hard won, the travelling fans on this occasion more than willing to accept that Graeme Jones had to do whatever was necessary to stop the rot, before hopefully the rebuild can really begin with better football and results to come.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 1 – Saturday 23 October 3pm



Benteke 56


Wilson 65

(In brackets the first half stats)

Possession was Palace 75% (79%) Newcastle 25% (21%)

Total shots were Palace 14 (4)  Newcastle 6 (3)

Shots on target were Palace 3 (1) Newcastle 2 (1)

Corners were Palace 3 (1) Newcastle 7 (2)

Referee: Darren England

Crowd: 24,609 (NUFC 3,000)

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Manquillo, Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie, Hayden, Sean Longstaff (Willock 66), Fraser (Almiron 66), Saint-Maximin (Joelinton 81), Wilson

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, Schar, Lewis, Hendrick, Murphy, Gayle

(Graeme Jones speaks after gutsy committed performance “Thought we deserved that” – Read HERE)

(Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 1 – Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Saturday’s draw – Read HERE)

(Match Report – Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 1 – Brilliant Wilson overhead kick (and VAR!) saves the day – Read HERE)

(Christian Benteke reacts to VAR denying Crystal Palace late winner as Newcastle cling to point – Read HERE)


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