HomeSportsMarc Guehi on south London ‘homecoming’ and learning from Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira
Marc Guehi on south London ‘homecoming’ and learning from Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira
October 14, 2021
When chatting to Marc Guehi at Crystal Palace’s coaching floor, his considerate and warranted nature has you double-checking your notes to verify he’s solely 21.
It has been a whirlwind few months for the younger centre-back. 5 days after his twenty first birthday in July, Guehi signed a everlasting deal at Crystal Palace, leaving his boyhood membership Chelsea.
The transfer introduced the chance to play below new supervisor, Patrick Vieira, and Guehi has slotted so seamlessly into the Palace defence, it’s like he got here by way of the membership’s personal academy.
After two profitable years on mortgage at Swansea, Guehi has returned to acquainted territory in south London, and the defender agrees that it has been an virtually trouble-free transition.
“100 per cent, and that is from the employees round me, the gamers round me – and the followers have taken to me since I have been right here. Everybody has made it very easy for me,” he mentioned in an unique interview with Sky Sports activities forward of Monday’s assembly with Arsenal.
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“I do know the world fairly properly, I performed for Cray Wanderers after I was younger, so I would say it is sort of a homecoming in a approach. It has been incredible.
“It was all the time a tricky resolution, leaving your boyhood membership the place you have performed for therefore lengthy. To go away was troublesome, however for me, I believed it was the proper resolution to return to a membership like Palace, the place the path they are going in is to offer gamers like myself the chance to reside out their dream and categorical themselves.
“I am actually glad I am right here and as I mentioned, I feel it was the proper resolution.
“It was the enchantment of enjoying Premier League soccer often that attracted me, the enchantment of the supervisor and the truth that this membership is a very secure membership.
“They’ve made it a correct Premier League membership and so they’ve performed within the league for a very long time now. And since I’ve bought right here, the followers have been incredible with me so I’ve actually loved my time to this point.”
Premier League expertise does not come a lot greater than that of Vieira, who has already overseen fairly a turnaround at Palace. There’s a buzz of pleasure round Selhurst Park, with the Eagles dropping simply two Premier League video games this season towards early title frontrunners Chelsea and Liverpool, taking seven factors from their first seven video games.
The stats again it up too. Vieira’s Palace are averaging round 50.1 per cent possession, taking pictures up from 39.9 per cent possession final season – the third-lowest price within the division. Palace’s passing accuracy has additionally elevated from 76.1 per cent to 81 per cent, with fewer pictures confronted and targets conceded per recreation. There has additionally been a rise in pictures on the different finish too – a median now of 11 in every Premier League outing.
“He is been incredible with me,” Guehi mentioned of Vieira. “He is actually helped me so much, in addition to the backroom employees who’ve been incredible.
“I am studying each single day – how one can conduct myself as a younger participant that’s hopefully creating into a pacesetter for this group, creating my recreation individually, and issues for me to work on.
“However he is only a very nice man, that is the primary factor, he is a very approachable individual and he needs to share his data with everybody.
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“It has been an fascinating begin. Shedding solely to Chelsea and Liverpool, folks would possibly see that as a reasonably good begin, however with the supervisor coming in, there’s been an actual shift in mentality, or since I have been right here anyway.
“As gamers, we’re pushing one another and we anticipate extra from one another and I feel it is incredible. We’re going into video games believing that we will win, and for the time being it is a course of and we’re all studying that.
“It is harsh within the video games that we’ve not gained, we imagine that we might have gained many extra and hopefully as we undergo this course of, we’ll get the wins that we imagine we deserve.”
Maybe one of many keys to Guehi’s success – other than his personal expertise – has been a constant centre-back companion. Former Fulham defender Joachim Anderson signed on a everlasting deal from Lyon, with the pair beginning within the final six Premier League video games.
“I feel it [the partnership] goes properly. It’s kind of disappointing that we’ve not gained that many video games, however we have positively bought a great understanding and we’re studying from one another as properly.
“I am positively studying so much from him, he is bought so much expertise – he lately certified with Denmark for the World Cup – so I am actually having fun with enjoying with him.
“He is performed within the Premier League, he is aware of what the league is about. That makes it so much simpler for me, having somebody subsequent to me that has an understanding of the gamers we’re developing towards and the league as properly.”
England U21 captaincy
If a powerful begin to life within the Premier League shouldn’t be sufficient, Lee Carsley named Guehi as his new England U21 captain in September, two years after his first look for the group.
The honour is the most recent success for the defender at youth worldwide degree. He was a part of the aspect that gained the U17 World Cup in 2017 and completed as a runner-up on the U17 European Championships. On the Euros, Guehi was named within the group of the match.
Reflecting on his new captaincy, he mentioned: “It is incredible. I am privileged and honoured. I wasn’t actually anticipating it to be trustworthy, however I am relishing each alternative I get to place the shirt on and put on the captain’s armband.
He’s a participant I’ve recognized for 2 or three years and immediately I used to be impressed with how mature he’s, the way in which he talks in regards to the recreation and influences the gamers off the pitch. The instance he units off the pitch in addition to on it made it a straightforward selection. Now we have a variety of leaders within the group and by way of the way in which he dealt with play within the Championship for Swansea and now at Crystal Palace, he’s a participant who was prepared for the duty.
“I am grateful that Lee Carsley picked me and it is an actual stepping stone for me in my profession to have this accolade. I’ll do one of the best that I can.
“I feel I am very attentive. I need to be taught, I need to develop and I feel that is the primary factor. I might sit right here and say I am an incredible chief and all this, however I feel paying attention is the primary factor. I need to enhance at this stage in my profession.
“Hopefully in the future [enough to play for the senior team], however I am actually targeted on the U21s proper now. I am actually glad that I’ve the chance and am sporting the armband in order that’s actually the primary focus proper now, on the current that reasonably on the close to future hopefully.”
Studying at Swansea
Guehi’s first foray into first group soccer got here at Swansea Metropolis, spending 18 months on mortgage on the Welsh aspect below former England U17 supervisor Steve Cooper.
It was fairly the whirlwind too. He spent a big a part of his time enjoying in an empty Liberty Stadium as a result of Covid-19 pandemic and took part in two play-off campaigns – sadly dropping twice to now-promoted Brentford.
“It is completely essential for any younger participant to exit and play within the males’s recreation at a excessive degree,” Guehi mirrored.
“For me, it was Swansea and so they have been incredible with me. I performed a variety of video games and virtually bought promoted as properly with them, however I completely loved it. My recommendation to anybody is to go on the market in case you get the chance to play as a result of it is an important.
“A number of the gamers there helped me so much. I can title heaps like Wayne Routledge, Andre Ayew, Matt Grimes, so lots of them helped me to be the place I’m in the present day.
We’ll put together as common – it’s one other recreation. They’re a very prime aspect with incredible gamers. We’ll positively put together in the proper approach, mentally put together to guarantee that come recreation time, we’ll be prepared for no matter they throw at us.
“The principle factor that I did be taught was that the video games are most essential, ensuring you are able to compete on the highest degree, but it surely was additionally an actual household setting there as properly. Everybody was actually shut, you knew what was occurring with everybody, in order that’s a variety of what I took from there.
“It is exhausting for me to say that it was troublesome [during the Covid-19 pandemic] as a result of there have been so many individuals who had misplaced their jobs and have been going by way of actually exhausting instances. For me, I used to be nonetheless capable of exit and play soccer and do what I really like.
“It is exhausting generally to not see your loved ones, however I used to be actually lucky to have the ability to play soccer and have the chance, no matter whether or not there have been followers or not, it was simply with the ability to do one thing, whereas different folks weren’t capable of.”
It’s this type of selfless nature that can assist Guehi to thrive in an more and more thrilling Crystal Palace aspect, because the Eagles’ enchancment below Vieira continues to take form.