Impressive as Crystal Palace’s ability to keep clear of relegation during an unbroken eight-year spell in the Premier League has been, it has hardly been a thrill a minute.
The last four seasons under Roy Hodgson had the Eagles finish 11th, 12th, 14th and 14th while the highest they have finished in the top flight since promotion in 2013 is 10th.
Palace fans were not complaining, but new manager Patrick Vieira hopes he can instil a more attractive style of play as he takes on what he says is his biggest challenge as a coach.
Vieira is in the process of revamping an ageing squad with the likes of Gary Cahill, Scott Dann, Patrick Van Aanholt and Andros Townsend all having departed.
New recruits include defenders Marc Guehi and Joachim Andersen and midfielder Michael Olise and Vieira has not ruled out more additions before the window closes.
The Frenchman said he wants to retain Palace’s dogged DNA but add a more ambitious style.
“Of course those players need time and as a manager to put my ideas in place may take longer, but we are quite ambitious and want to perform and compete at this level,” he said on Friday ahead of Palace’s opener at Chelsea.
“I think this football club has some values. When you look at the way the team conducts itself in the last couple of years, fighting to stay in the Premier League, commitment and hard work is part of the DNA and that is something we have to keep.
“But it will be important for me to try to implement the vision that I have of the game. We have some exciting young players in our football club and it will be important for me to manage and make them play at the level I know they can do, which will help us play some good football.”
Former Arsenal great Vieira has had coaching jobs with New York City and Nice, but Palace represents a bigger challenge.
“Yes it is (my biggest challenge),” the 45-year-old said. “It’s in a different way from when I was in New York or at Nice. It will be tough, but I believe that I’m in the right club to do what I love: coaching. I’m ready for it.”