Shot of one of the stands in Selhurst Park

Vieira’s Palace in numbers: more possession, more passes, more chances

Patrick Vieira has only managed 22 Premier League games for Crystal Palace but there has been a clear change in how they play compared to previous seasons.

Taking a closer look at the data shows precisely where those changes have been made.

Data from highlights the increased amount of possession they have had in each game compared to last season.

Under previous manager Roy Hodgson they averaged 40.2% possession per game.

They would rely on letting the other team have the ball more and create chances on the counter attack.

This season Vieira has changed their style and turned Crystal Palace into a more possession based team with an average of 51.1.% per game.

Luke Tyrrell has been a Palace season ticket holder for more than 20 years and is hesitant about the change in style.

Tyrrell said: “We are playing a much more passing progressive style of football, which is a lot easier on the eye.

“On possession, I do struggle with that being lauded as that is how you are performing. 

“Because you can have all the possession in the world but if you’re not getting three points then nobody cares.“

The change to a more possession style of play is further highlighted by the average amount of passes they complete per game.

Only once in the past eight seasons have they averaged more than 400 passes per game which was in 2018/19.

However, this season they are completing on average 475 passes per game which is a over a 100 more than last season.

Data from also highlights the improvement in chances created by Crystal Palace. 

Last season, they only totalled 33 big chances (chances that have a high possibility of scoring) which ranked them in the bottom three.

However, this season they have already created 31 big chances with 16 games still to go.

Tyrrell said: “Vieira seems to be more about getting forward a bit more quicker which is more pleasing on the eye I guess. 

“We sort of throw more caution to the a wind a little it more under Vieira.”

Moreover, last season, Crystal Palace had one of the oldest playing squads in the Premier League according to

During the summer, Vieira sought to rectify that and brought in seven players with an average age of just under 23.

Whereas several players were released that were aged 30 or over.

Tyrrell said: “There were 13 players out of contract and interestingly only two of those players released went onto Premier League clubs. 

“The rest of them have dropped down divisions. 

“Younger players will be excited to play under Vieira.”

Despite all of these changes, Crystal Palace are currently just nine points above the relegation zone in 13th.

It has been their inability to turn draws into wins, which has cost them more points.

Tyrell added: “I don’t think we will be in a relegation battle.

“We have got a lot depth this season and a strong bench. 

“Last season we looked at the bench and didn’t have much.

“If we can turn those draws into wins then we will be fine.”

Crystal Palace’s next games are against Hartlepool (H) in the FA Cup Fourth Round and then Norwich City (A) in the Premier League.

Picture credited to jeff warder via Wikipedia under CC BY-SA 3.0 license

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