2021 has been a tough year for millions of people, for obvious reasons.
By no means whatsoever has he suffered the most, but Patrick Vieira’s situation is definitely worth considering from a professional aspect.
The Frenchman – still an infant in a managerial world clouded by COVID-19 uncertainty – is embarking on his first taste of life in the Premier League as a coach.
By mid-October, the air in SE25 could be full of negativity as Vieira faces a difficult run of games, including clashes with Tottenham, Liverpool, Leicester and Arsenal.
The pressure will weigh heavily on his shoulders if we don’t secure a few wins, at least.
It’s for that exact reason that The Athletic’s Matt Woosnam may have made Vieira’s 2021 with his latest revelation.
What did Matt Woosnam say?
The Athletic’s Crystal Palace correspondent said that Eberechi Eze is now expected to be back in the team by November.
Speaking on the Scouted Football Podcast, Woosnam said: “It is my understanding that they’re expecting him (Eze) to be back in the team ready to play games by November.”
Not light jogging. Not back in training. Back in the TEAM. That is simply huge news for Vieira.
There were fears that we wouldn’t see Eze – arguably our second most important player behind Wilfried Zaha – until 2022.
So, the fact he may return before Christmas is massive.
Why could it make Patrick Vieira’s 2021?
Of course, you could argue that statement is a bit exaggerative.
However, November is usually around the time where the Premier League starts to take shape, and those at risk of relegation are made clear.
If we find ourselves in bother, and Vieira’s job is on the line, what better way to ease the pressure and lift spirits by having Eze back on the pitch?
The infectiously positive midfielder is capable of sparking life into Crystal Palace with ease – it’s a pure joy to watch him play football.
Hopefully, Eze doesn’t suffer any setbacks, or the mood around Selhurst Park could be very gloomy this winter.