Trio of assistants leave Crystal Palace with Vieira

Simon Wilson and Saïd Aïgoun have a track record of player development

Simon Wilson and Saïd Aïgoun have a track record of player development

A trio of coaches have been sacked by Crystal Palace along with manager Patrick Vieira.

Assistant Osian Roberts, first-team coach Kristian Wilson and Development Coach Saïd Aïgoun all arrived with the Frenchman in the summer of 2021.

However, all have been sacked following a run of 12 matches without a win.

Chairman Steve Parish said: “Patrick’s impact since joining us in the summer of 2021 has been significant, and he is held in the highest regard by myself, and all of his colleagues. He led the team to a Wembley FA Cup semi-final and respectable 12th placed finish last season playing some exciting football, which was a challenging and crucial campaign for the club given the changes we made to the squad prior to his arrival.

"Patrick has given his all to the club, and we all thank him and his team for their service. We also wish Patrick, Osian, Kristian and Saïd the very best for their futures.”

Vieira was brought in with a remit of reducing the average age of the squad, developing players and playing more attacking football than his predecessor, Roy Hodgson. That was reflected in his choice of assistants, all of whom had a track record of player development.

Roberts was Technical Director for the Welsh FA for 12 years, which is how he got to know Vieira, who did his A Licence and Pro Licence with the FAW. The Welshman also worked for the Moroccan Football Federation for two years, helping to lay the foundations for their run to the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup.

Wilson worked for Brazilian Soccer Schools with Simon Clifford before joining Sheffield United’s Academy as a skills coach in 2005. He joined Manchester City in 2008 as Head of Technical Performance, which is when he forged a strong relationship with Vieira. When the World Cup winner became manager of New York City and then OGC Nice, Wilson went with him, having the title of Performance Specialist at both clubs.

Aigoun started as a youth coach at the age of 16 before joining Ligue 2 team Paris FC. He went on to work for Auxerre’s Academy and then PSG's, where he also helped with first-team sessions.

The Frenchman also works as a consultant for French TV and has known compatriot Vieira for several years.

As Clifford acknowledged, Palace played some exciting football last season and the average age of the squad was reduced. In 2020/21, the season before Vieira arrived, Palace had the oldest average age of players on the pitch, at 29.6.

This season the average is 27.5, which makes them only the seventh oldest. Players have also been developed, with Marc Guehi, for example, having signed along with Vieira in the summer of 2021. He went on to make his England debut in March 2022 and was named in Gareth Southgate's latest squad this week.

Palace are 12th in the Premier League but, as Parish acknowledged, remaining in the division is the priority and the team are only three points above the drop zone. Dean Kiely has stayed on as Goalkeeper Coach, while Under-21s Lead Paddy McCarthy will take charge of the side for their game against Arsenal on Sunday.

READ MORE: Crystal Palace staff profiles

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