WTTGT Writer: Lewis Kyriacou
Yesterday marked the end Patrick Vieria’s great footballing career. Whilst enjoying moderate success with spells at Juventus (although stripped of his Championship medal), Inter Milan and a decent squad player at Manchester City, it was at Arsenal where he became a legend.
He was bought by Arsène Wenger in September 1996, and would go on to spend a glorious 9 years at Arsenal. With a powerful 6’ 3” inch frame, he stood head and shoulders over most players, not only in stature but in skill and desire.
He was a great captain, leading Arsenal to victory in the FA Cup in 2003 and 2005 and the Championship in 2004. He also captained the side during much of the 2002 double winning season with Tony Adams spending large spells on the sidelines, so much so that Adams asked Viera to lift the FA Cup with him in the victory over Chelsea.
He was most loved for his gritty play, and crunching tackling, often leading to explosive encounters with Roy Keane on this pitch. He was also a player of great technical ability, a master at shielding the ball with a combination of nimble footwork and strength.
He came up with a few special goals, a curling effort from the edge of the box against Manchester United in 1997. In the memorable unbeaten season, Vieria only scored three times, but each at a pivotal moment.
His first of the season was against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, with the Gunners a goal down a cool left-footed finish levelled the score in a game which Arsenal would go on to win. His second was the opener against Spurs at White Hart Lane, where Arsenal would seal the title. His final goal of the season came at Highbury was the winner against Leicester City which sealed the emphatic unbeaten campaign. Even the following season, Vieria’s last kick for Arsenal won the FA Cup against Manchester United in a penalty shoot-out.
Vieria’s final kick in an Arsenal shirt brings the last piece of silverwear that the Gunners won
In my opinion, no Arsenal captain since Vierai has been able galvanise other players around him into performing. A superb player, an inspirational leader and a true legend:
Vieria! Oh-oh-oh, Vieria Oh-oh-oh!
He comes From Senegal; still loved by Arsenal!
Thanks to a true legend, and good luck with your new role at Manchester City.