Patrick Vieira has pointed the finger at Arsenal defender Ben White following a surprise recent admission from the £50m defender.
Vieira is back in English football, having taken the reigns at Crystal Palace over the summer. And the new Eagles boss will look to add to his solid start to life with the Eagles by placing another dent in his former side.
And while Palace only have seven points so far, the manner of their displays have given supporters hope. And having only lost twice in seven so far, they leapfrog the Gunners with a win at Emirates Stadium on Monday night.
In the opposite dug-out is Mikel Arteta, who is still struggling to convince some that his Arsenal side are heading in the right direction. The Spaniard spent the best part of £130m over the summer.
However, they are yet to show any consistency amid fears they face another season languishing in mid table.
Their most costly summer signing White has shown flashes of why they paid £50m to prise him from Brighton.
However, his recent admission that he is “too busy to watch football” has raised eyebrows.
“I never watched football when I was younger – still don’t now,” White said this week.
“I just loved the game. I was always playing it – never watching it.
“So I don’t know too much about older generations. I know [Vieira] was a very good player. But I wouldn’t know the details. I’m quite busy – I’m always doing something.
“I watch myself for analytical reasons. I watch England, maybe. I just wouldn’t just sit down and watch a game.”
Vieira picks apart White comments
And those comments appear to have shocked Vieira, one of Arsenal’s most successful-ever captains. The Frenchman insists the very top players all become students of the game in an effort to improve themselves further.
And citing Thierry Henry as the example, he says White should watch the game to further improve his own displays.
“It matters,” said Vieira about White and his comments.
“Watching games shows the passion and love you have. Thierry would watch any kind of game in any league in any country.
“He knew everything about the game. I played with Cesc Fabregas and the Spanish players watched games every day.
“It’s a different culture here in England – not better, not worse. But in France or Spain players watch football – also Italy where I played as well.”