Arsenal is making the journey to Palace, without taking public transport, so with reasonable ambitions to get there in time for the 8 p.m. kick-off on Monday evening. It’s been a while since we’ve had Monday Night Football, with internationals and so on, and there will no doubt be plenty of #content on Sky Sports later. We’ll start our blog in earnest around 7 p.m. when team news is released.
Pat Vieira will no doubt get a big helping hand from traveling Arsenal fans. Maybe he will be the manager one day, who knows.
Asked this week if he would have believed in 2004 that Arsenal would go the next 18 years without further Premier League success, Vieira replied: “Not really. During that period I thought Arsenal would be a challenge. for titles.
“It’s more difficult now and it’s more competitive. There are more teams capable of winning.
“There is a cycle where Manchester City is the team, and now there is Liverpool and Chelsea. And Manchester United will be there to challenge too, so there are five or six teams that can win the Premier League.
“But getting into the Champions League is important for Arsenal because of the stature of the football club.”
Almost two decades on from Arsenal’s unbeaten Premier League campaign, Vieira, who left for Juventus the following year, says he remains in contact with a number of his former tenure mates.
He added: “I’m still talking to Thierry [Henry]Robert [Pires]Martin [Keown] and Dennis [Bergkamp].
“When we talk, we don’t just talk about football, but about everything in life.
“We are friends because we have spent so much time together, sometimes more than with our families.
“We won, we lost, we went through different emotions and shared important moments in our lives together.”
So, would a win against his former club mean more to the Frenchman?
“No, not at all,” he said. “It’s three points on the table, which is the basic answer. Our performances have to be good if we want to win this game, and we want to win the game.”
In October, Alexandre Lacazette scored in stoppage time to prevent Vieira winning on his return to north London.
Vieira said: “The game is never over until the referee blows the whistle. It’s about the concentration we have to have, especially against these kinds of teams.
“We played with personality and we tried to dictate the pace of the game. Of course, we knew it would be hard and difficult. But what we can learn from that are those crucial moments that we have to manage well.”
What Vieira will of course know is that Arsenal can get back into the top four with a point. The Gunners have 54, Spurs have 54, but Spurs have played 30 to Arsenal’s 28.