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​Crystal Palace boss Vieira: Not fair to criticise Arsenal for not replacing me

Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira believes that Arsenal receive unfair criticism for not having replaced him for more than 15 years.

The Gunners often came in for critique from the press and supporters for losing a lot of tenacity and leadership from the middle of the park after Vieira's departure in 2005.

Even under the guidance of legendary boss Arsene Wenger, their post-2005 teams were accused of having a soft centre.

"When I was playing I had Emmanuel Petit and Gilberto next to me, and Edu in the midfield. That was a really good partnership," Vieira said.

"The new players may not have had those players around them who allowed them to express themselves.

"I had Dennis [Bergkamp] or Thierry [Henry] ahead of me, Sol [Campbell] and Martin [Keown] and Tony behind me. They all made my job even easier.

"So it's difficult to be critical of players who maybe didn't have the same help around them."

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