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‘Crystal Palace players believed Vieira’s philosophy straight away’ – Schlupp

6:15 PM SGT 18/12/21
Jeffrey Schlupp Crystal Palace 2021-22
The Black Stars player explains how he has improved his game under the former Arsenal midfielder

Jeffrey Schlupp has explained how Crystal Palace players moved quickly to master the tactics of manager Patrick Vieira after he was appointed to handle the Premier League side.

The Ghana international has hailed the former Arsenal midfielder, who took charge of the team on July 5, 2021, for introducing an attacking mindset to the team.

“We saw reports of him being appointed as manager,” Schlupp told Premier League Productions as quoted by the club’s official website. “Obviously everyone knows who Patrick Vieira is. He’s a legend of the game, he’s a Premier League legend.

“It was exciting. Then to meet him face-to-face was a big moment for me personally and for everyone else. He got his message across straight away, told us about his philosophy and the way he wants to play.

“I think everyone bought into that straight away. Everyone demands respect, but the respect for him was there straight away.

“We knew who he was and what he stands for. I think we took to him straight away, and believed in his philosophy straight away.

“I think it’s on our structure and shape. I’ve had different managers, but I think this is probably the most we’ve focused on playing out from the back.

“It’s obviously a different time, a different era from when I started playing in 2010. The main focus is of course to play out from the back, to spread teams open, and to press high up the field.

“I’ve learnt a lot from Patrick personally, and playing in midfield – he was obviously a midfielder – there are personal messages that he has passed on that I try to take on.

“One of the main things is the confidence in playing forwards, attacking well, and playing together as a team, which is obviously a big thing in what we do.”

On adapting to Vieira’s new style, the Black Star said: “Previously we did a really good job with Roy [Hodgson], which was in some ways different tactics,” he explained. “Everyone has been involved with different managers and different playing styles, so it’s just another different thing.

“We’re here to learn. He got his messages across really well and straight away, and I think we took to that well. It’s obviously a different style: we press high up the field, we play out from the back and we keep the ball.

“It’s something different to what we’ve been used to at Crystal Palace, but we’ve all been at teams where we’ve had those kinds of philosophies, or at academies, which helps in trying to get that into our game.”

On his performance so far this season, Schlupp said: “For me personally, I’m an attacking player and I like scoring goals,” he said. “I managed to score against my old team Leicester, which was a big thing for me.

“In general, I think how we’ve taken to the messages from the coaching staff [is a positive]. Not just the manager, all the staff. I think we’ve taken it on really well – everyone can see we’re playing some really good football.

“We’ve been unlucky with some results, so obviously where we might be in the table could be a lot different, but the way we’re playing as a collective is really positive, so there are lots of positives to take from that.”

Schlupp is among the African players Palace will have to do without in January as they will head to the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. Others are Jordan Ayew also of Ghana and Wilfried Zaha of Ivory Coast.