Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has said he will have to put his emotions to one side on Monday night when he faces his former club Arsenal at the Emirates.
The Frenchman spent nine years in north London as a player, winning three Premier League titles and four FA Cups at Arsenal between 1996 and 2005.
Now, on the verge of his return to the club for the first time as a manager, he says he will have to keep his emotions in check and focus on the task at hand.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Vieira. “I had a chance to play for this club for nine years – I arrived when I was a kid and left as a man.
“This is the club where I played my best football so obviously going back will be emotional. But I will put that on the side because what is important for us is to perform well and try to get the points.”
Vieira’s return will see him go toe-to-toe with another former Arsenal captain in Mikel Arteta, who recently won the Premier League Manager of the Month award for September.
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The Spaniard, like Vieira, has experience coaching within the City group, with Vieira spending time managing New York City while Arteta worked under Pep Guardiola in Manchester.
“I think he’s somebody who, when he was playing, going into a managerial area was something that he wanted to do because of the way he was playing on the field, talking a lot with his players around him,” said Vieira of Arteta.
“He reminds me a little bit of Didier Deschamps of the French national team, because when he was playing you knew that Didier was going to be a football manager. And I think Arteta is quite in the same kind of mindset.”