Meet Patrick Vieira’s backroom staff: The men behind the Crystal Palace Project

Crystal Palace have hired former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira to usher them into a new era.

<p>Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira is the new Crystal Palace coach. Credit: Getty Images </p>

Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira is the new Crystal Palace coach. Credit: Getty Images

Patrick Vieira is still finding his feet at Crystal Palace and would definitely have had a lot to think about following the 3-0 thumping at the hands of Chelsea.

The second half performance against West Ham will lift moods and encourage fans who saw the team come back from a goal down twice to earn a point.

Vieira was one the best midfielders of his generation and without doubt commands the respect of his players.

The World cup Winner has been tasked with transforming Crystal Palace into an exciting team and making the academy a hot bed for young players coming through.

He’s carefully picked a team mixed with experience and a point to prove as his back room staff, so who has Vieira selected as his brains trust?

Former Wales coach Osian Roberts is on Patrick Vieira’s coaching staff at Crystal Palace. Credit Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Osian Roberts - first team assistant coach

Osian Roberts began his career with Bangor City, Bethesda Athletic and New Mexico Chile but it was with the Wales national team in 2016 that his stock really rose.

Credited as the tactical brain behind the Welsh team that reached the semi finals of Euro 2016, Roberts is expected to bring all his experience on board to a rather young technical team, that is still finding its feet at this level.

He’s never worked in the Premier League so this new challenge should be refreshing, especially given his own ambitions of being a manager one day.

Roberts once said: "I have been described as the most powerful man in Welsh football, which I have never felt comfortable with or believed for a second."

Kristian Wilson - first team coach

Kristian Wilson and Vieira first crossed paths at Manchester City and have since worked together at New York City, OGC Nice before linking up in South London.

He began his coaching career at Sheffield Wednesday before moving to Sheffield United where he worked with a young Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire and Kyle Naughton.

Wilson quickly progressed and joined Manchester City’s U-23 team during the Roberto Mancini era, where he met Vieira and they’ve since forged a strong relationship.

He’s been tasked with carrying out training sessions and leading with tactics, technical and sometimes physical routines of the first team.

“I feel what I can bring to the table is that I’ve worked with a five-year-old kid, I’ve worked with an 18-year -old kid, so I’ve gone through a development process myself,” Kristian Wilson said, after being appointed at Palace.

“Through this incredible opportunity I’ve been given the opportunity to be a football coach.”

Said Aigoun - development coach

Said Aigoun has known Vieira for many years, and they worked and shared notes on academy footballers even when Vieira was still the elite development coach at Manchester City.

Aigoun started his coaching career aged just 16 with French League Two side Paris FC.

He then progressed quickly to Auxerre’s academy before joining Paris Saint Germain’s youth side, where he’d often join in to help first team sessions with players like Jay-Jay Okocha and Mauricio Pochettino.

He will be in charge of ensuring the smooth transition of academy players to the first team, whilst also helping with tactics and first team training sessions

"New challenge, new life, same passion," Said Aigoun wrote on Twitter after being announced as the development coach of Crystal Palace.

Dean Kiely is the Crystal Palace goalkeeping coach. Credit: David Rogers/Getty Images

Dean Kiely - goalkeeper coach

Dean Kiely has been at Palace since 2018, and is one of the surviving coaches from the Roy Hodgson era.

The shot stopper had more than 600 top-flight appearances during a playing career that took him to clubs like Charlton Athletic, Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion.

He came up against Patrick Vieira during their playing days, and the pair have held extensive talks on how they feel they can get the best out of the talented goalkeepers they currently have at their disposal.

Kiely has earned a  reputation as a growing name in the industry, having played a key role in the development of Palace’s number one last season, Vicente Guaita.

He also comes across as very honest and finds a way to generate a healthy relationship between all sets of players he works with.

"I’ve had 31 years in professional football and it’s foot on the accelerator, flat out, eyes popping out, tongue hanging out," Kiely once joked, when asked about how tough it is to be a professional goalkeeper.

Odds: 20/1 Current job: Crystal Palace sporting director (Photo by Harry Hubbard/Getty Images)

Dougie Freedman- sporting director

Dougie Freedman is regarded as a Crystal Palace legend having made more than 200 appearances for the club between 2000 and 2008.

He has given half of his life to the Eagles and at one point was the club’s manager during the 2011/2012 season, when they managed to stay in the Premier League.

Before that, he was appointed the club’s reserve team manager in 2005, combining the role with his playing duties.

The Scot has a close relationship with chairman Steve Parish who appointed him as sporting director in 2017.

"We want to build a team with a culture that is identifiable to everyone who is associated with this club," Freedman said in a recent interview.

Freedman is said to have admired Vieira from his playing days, and was very impressed with the former Arsenal midfielder’s desire to blend youth and experience during his job interview.

Crystal Palace had the oldest average age for all Premier League teams last season, and Freedman is working around the clock to bring in some younger players.

Hehas already helped sign Chelsea and England young defender Marc Guehi, and was also instrumental in bringing in Conor Gallagher.

Freedman has been tasked by Steve Parish and Patrick Vieira with clearing out the older players and landing their main transfer targets.