LONDON (Reuters) -Crystal Palace sacked manager Patrick Vieira after 20 months in charge on Friday following the 1-0 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion that left the south London club three points above the Premier League relegation zone.
Palace are the only side in the league without a win in 2023, having drawn five and lost six of their games. Their last league victory came on Dec. 31, 2-0 at Bournemouth, and they are 12th on 27 points with 11 games to play.
The club did not say who would replace Vieira but former club captain and current under-21s coach Paddy McCarthy will take charge of the side for Sunday’s trip to leaders Arsenal.
“It is with enormous regret that this difficult decision has been made,” Palace Chairman Steve Parish said.
“Results in recent months have placed us in a precarious league position and we felt a change is necessary to give us the best chance of retaining Premier League status.”
Former France international Vieira, who captained Arsenal to three league titles and four FA Cups as a player, took over from Roy Hodgson in July 2021 on a three-year contract.
Vieira, 46, guided Palace to a 12th-placed finish and an FA Cup semi-final in his first season in charge, earning praise for an attacking style of play.
However, they have struggled for goals this term with only 21 in 27 league games. Wednesday’s defeat at Brighton was their third in a row and marked the 13th league game in which they failed to score.
“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,” Parish added.
“Patrick has given his all to the club, and we all thank him and his team for their service.”
Vieira won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship as a player with France. He coached U.S. side New York City FC from 2016-18 before a 2-1/2 year stint at Ligue 1 club Nice.
Three members of his coaching staff, Osian Roberts, Kristian Wilson and Said Aigoun, have also left Palace.
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Ken Ferris)