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Manchester City Signing Patrick Vieira Is A Risky Business

Well when your side is screaming out for a centre half, why not simply go out and sign a centre midfielder who’s lost his pace and has struggled with injuries for 3 seasons. Yes, Roberto Mancini seems to think that by signing a creaky Patrick Vieira, it’ll help shore up a leaky defence. 5 years ago, Viera was clearly one of the best centre midfielders in Europe, but his four years in Italy have seen his reputation decline.

Whilst certainly not past it by any stretch of the imagination, I cannot believe Vieira can cope with the pace of Premiership football any more. I know his move is motivated by being a regular starter for France, but he hasn’t started a competitive game for Les Blues since August 2007 and I do not see the benefit of disrupting the midfield pairing of Gareth Barry and Nigel De Jong.

It also sends a signal that the manager has no confidence in his midfield anchor men, when Manchester City’s back four have been far more culpable for their weaknesses this season. Barry and De Jong have been amongst City’s better performers this season, and for all the spin that has accompanied Mancini’s victories against Stoke City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Middlesbrough, it’s doubtful that City wouldn’t have won those games with Mark Hughes in charge.

It seems like City are entering that dimension that Real Madrid lived in where players are signed on reputation rather than ability and the wisdom in signing Vieira will become clearer over the next few weeks. The warning signs are there though with Vieira’s total appearances over the last 3 and a half seasons at Internazionale totals 72 games in all competitions. Italian football is not the high paced, frenetic standard of the Premiership and I don’t think Vieira will be able to cope.

By all means, Vieira was one of the stand out midfielders in world football during his spell at Arsenal, of that there is absolutely no doubt. Yet Wenger’s transfer policy of removing older players before they deteriorate at Arsenal has yet to blow up in his face. Remember everyone banging on about what a great pair of signings Adebayor and Toure were in the summer? They’ve strangely gone quiet already. Adebayor’s 6 goals this season and the leakiest defence in the Premierships top ten seem to once again back Wengers judgement.

Of course, the additional revenue that Vieira will bring through shirt sales will be the only thing that Gary Cook will be interested in. The ability the cover the wage package of apparently £140,000 a week won’t be overly important to the owners but surely the value has to be on the pitch. We’re not talking about a David Beckham icon here, we’re talking about a man who can’t get in the worse French team in 15 years. Vieira struggled to cope with the recovery period in his spell at Arsenal when he was at his prime, so I’ve no idea how he can cope with the demands it’ll put on him now.

Mourinho has been deploying him solely as a defensive midfielder, but he still tries to play his old role and gets caught out of position, he hasnt got the pace to get back and he lacks the tenacity to fly in to the tackles like he used to. He’s earned rave reviews for his last Inter performance against Chievo, but come on, it’s hardly the Milan derby is it. I just don’t see the wisdom of the signing, I just feel it’ll tarnish one of the best midfielders in Premiership history’s legacy and that would be a shame.

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  1. TheRealist

    January 9, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Just think, if Roberto had his way De Jong & Barry would be warming the bench and Veron & Vieira would be partners in midfield. What does that say about his tactical abilities?

    • Huh

      January 9, 2010 at 12:19 pm

      So you don’t think City have a squad and that 1+1=3, are you sure your not Tyson disguise?

    • john

      January 9, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      mancini was not going to sign them both it was one or the other in the
      event roberto got the right one in the end.lets all give viera a chance to prove he can still hack in the prem before all the instant judgements come pouring in

  2. Tyson

    January 9, 2010 at 3:04 am

    Viera has been a terrible player for Inter Milan for a number of years now.

    Mourinho is an incredible coach and a winner. Theres a reason he not only let Viera leave but pretty much pushed him out of the door. Anybody that has followed Inter Milan for the last three years will give testament to just how bad hes played these last few years compared to how well he played when at Arsenal.

    • Huh

      January 9, 2010 at 6:54 am

      I think Paul Bestall and Tyson are one and the same, or maybe its just that neither of them have a clue what they are talking about, two peas in a pod.

  3. leon tuart

    January 8, 2010 at 8:58 am

    i think some really valid points have been made by all parties.but if you dont know the words to blue moon you can sniff my balls……tick tock tick tock………

  4. brn442

    January 7, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Signing an albeit aging Viera on a free is a good piece of business for City. It’s not without risk but as another poster said, it’s proabaly the least risky fo their signings the last year.

    Although it can backfire, it should help Mancini get a grip of the dressing room.

    • brn442

      January 7, 2010 at 7:07 pm

      also I doubt he was on 140K a week at Internazionale

      • Huh

        January 7, 2010 at 7:45 pm

        I doubt he’ll be on that at City as well mate!

  5. Simon Burke

    January 7, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I am a gooner and sad to see Vieira go up there but good luck to him picking up all that cash.
    Its a free so its no risk unless you all play him a lot. I have no idea how he will play for you all – is he past it? Then again he’s desperate to get back in the French side so you may find he goes all out.

    Bit worrying too that you were linked with Veron – is Mancini intent on signing his old mates for a good payday or does he have a sensible list of targets to add to the Vieira’s and Veron’s?

    I have City to be in the top 4 come May – not sure I’d have signed Vieira though as i dont think he will add to what you already have.

    • Huh

      January 7, 2010 at 7:41 pm

      Simon I think that Mancini has signed him as a leader for on and off the pitch. To have his own imposing figure in the dressing room (on his side if you like) is important. I think he will not only be good as a player but imagine having this player and the respect he has in the game involved in your coaching set up, or how the youth players at the club react to him (how many of Arsenal’s young players today looked up him in his days at the Gunners? And what effect did this have on their careers?). At 33 he still has a year or so left in the game at the top level and what comes after this interests me also, one of the best midfielders the EPL has ever seen. This player did well in Italy whatever Mr Bestall tries to tell you (he thinks Tevez was crap at UTD, says it all really).

      • Simon Burke

        January 7, 2010 at 9:10 pm

        I have to agree – there is a big upside to signing him if it pans out and at a transfer fee of zero its hard to argue against it.
        If he was playing terribly or not able to keep pace I assume Mancini would use him sparingly. After he’s done playing he’ll coach at Arsenal though 🙂

  6. CiTyBlUe

    January 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Spelling mistakes due to being tired literally and tired of reading rubbish.

  7. CiTyBlUe

    January 7, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Lmao, you have got to be completely moronic to belive or suggest Mancini has signed Vieira to shore up City’s defence, why be so blatently dumb when clearly City will sign a defender defore the january window opens.

    This article stinks of either an Arsenal or Man United fan, if not then the author seriously has a screw loose to suggest such.

    Vieira has a wealth of experience to tap into for younger players, not to mention the possibility of a coaching role at City in the future.

    Some people are just so arrogantly and voluntarily blinkered.

    • Paul Bestall

      January 7, 2010 at 7:00 pm

      I honestly don’t think any of you must have seen Vieira play in the last three years then.
      No-one is doubting his experience and ability, but he can’t cope with Serie A, never mind the Premiership. I’ll stand corrected but I honestly don’t think it’s a good signing for City at all.
      I think it’s a good thing that you have the established order on the run, but there are better players for what you want to achieve.
      Why not sign Yaya Toure or Marcos Senna?

      • Peter

        January 8, 2010 at 5:35 am

        How much money do you think Yaya Toure or Marcos Senna would cost? You must be joking if you think they would want to leave La Liga. Paul, you have very poor judgement on topics such as these, so maybe you should stay out of this one. Vieria will not be on £140,000 a week and even if he was what does it matter, I’m sure the owners can pay that. Vieria is a good leader, and still has a good few years left. Not to mention coaching afterwards.

        • Laurence

          January 8, 2010 at 7:29 am

          “How much money do you think Yaya Toure or Marcos Senna would cost?”

          It’s the only club in the league with money to burn…

          Luckily Mancini is better than just signing anyone and everyone. This might put an end to all the stupid transfer rumors, but then he does want to sign “Torres AND Gerrard”…

  8. Blue

    January 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Suck your mammas tit

  9. Bluetobits

    January 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    RISKY ????

  10. Feed the Goat

    January 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Unblinkered and not blinking,this is a wonderfull short term signing for a team without a leader on the pitch.
    We have nothing to lose, the wages are insignificant,a player who would have laughed at an approach by the woefull Hughes did not hesitate to work again with the ” Blessed Mancini”.
    Signed in time to play against the Dark Power,a very very shrewd signing.

  11. leeyiankun

    January 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    So who you’d sign? Mr. FM-wizard?

  12. Paul Bestall

    January 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I’ve a lot of time for City and especially their fans, but it’s easier to look at things without blinkers on.

    • Huh

      January 7, 2010 at 7:15 pm

      Aren’t you the same Paul Bestal who said about Craig Bellamy that he was
      ‘over rated, over paid and has never, ever delivered consistently’ even though he is easily one of the players of the season so far.
      Or how about this little gem about Tevez at UTD
      ‘He consistently failed to deliver in big games time and again, yet because he ran around like a dog chasing a rabbit he was “world class” ‘ even though he clearly did deliver in all their big games and we have seen what a crap player he has been at City haven’t we.
      Here is an absolute classic from the football genius that is Paul
      ‘Not one of Manchester City’s new signings is World Class, that’s a fact. Not one of them. Honestly, seriously, none of them. With the exception of Gareth Barry, Shay Given and Wayne Bridge, there isn’t one player who would be at Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea.’ Yes Paul not 1 of our players would get in there teams, hilarious you silly boy!

      Paul the only time you have for Man City is at night just before the nurse gives you your meds and tucks you in for the night, you know just after you have prayed that City fail miserably. Well wake up a smell the coffee Paul because it isn’t gonna happen however much you slag them off for every move they make!

      For anyone who is not full of the blatant jealousy that Paul clearly is I think Vieira has been signed for his leadership qualities. Also I feel he may well be used as a centre half and dare I say it as a new Captain.

      By the way Paul how many trophies did he pick up in England (9 yrs) compared with Italy (5 yrs),as he was finished when he left the Arsenal it can’t be many eh! NOT BITTER MY ARSE!!!

      • brn442

        January 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm

        Haha, nice one

  13. Andy

    January 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Possibly one of the worst articles I’ve ever read. It’s possibly the least risky signing City have made in the last 18 months. It’s a squad player being signed on a free transfer.

  14. hatchet man

    January 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I just wonder which one of the quaking in your boots sky 4 you support, is it the pogo dancing gooners, the debt riddled swampers, the bin dipping chancers or the once rich chelski….. id bet a pogo dancer.

    One thing is certain your bitter jealous to the core

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