Is Fabio Vieira really ready to compete with Martin Odegaard?

When Fabio Vieira arrived at Arsenal this summer, he was practically unknown to Arsenal fans, but obviously Arteta and Edu had been keeping tabs on his excellent performances for Porto at such a young age, and they snapped him up quickly before anyone else started to take notice.

He certainly looks like a top buy so it’s a shame he missed pre-season with a foot injury, but as he had to settle in to London and start getting to grips with the language it may have been a blessing. But he now good and ready to go and made his third appearance for the Gunners last night against Bodo, providing a brilliant cross for Rob Holding’s goal, and putting one in the back of the net.

Many people are saying he is a natural backup to Martin Odegaard, and that is his favourite role, but the fact is that he can play just about anywhere! This is what he said just after he arrived: “The manager told me he knows I can play as a midfielder — No 8, No 10 — or on the wing, left side or right side. They know I am a versatile player.

“I prefer No 10. It’s my real position.”

Well Vieira certainly proved that he is an excellent attacking force last night, but Arteta thinks he still has a few things to learn. The boss said about him after yesterday’s game: “Yes, you saw the quality. Every time he’s around the box he’s a real threat, really intelligent player and brave. In defending he still needs to do more and understand it more because organisation is key when you play against good teams in ball possession.”

So, I doubr he is quite ready to challenge Odegaard, but he can certainly do a good job on the wing. Maybe he could help to give Saka a rest every now and then?


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A happy Arteta talks about Bodo, Vieira, subs, Jesus, Nketiah and the performance.

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  1. I’d like to see how he performs in at least ten EPL matches first. Odegaard got harassed frequently by EPL’s flat-track bullies, so I want to see how Vieira will deal with those brutes

    I saw him play on the right wing once with our academy players and he couldn’t reach the byline as Martinelli always did nor could he cut inside frequently like Sanchez/ Saka. I’d still prefer Pepe to compete with Saka and Marquinhos

      1. I thought he was Nice’s main RW? I see that he just produced one goal without any assist so far

    1. Yes, I watched Vieira play as RW in the U23s and almost every pass was sideways – lots of runs with his head down, usually coming infield and getting dispossessed (although that may be due to team mates ball watching).

      I got the same feeling as you GAI, that he’s not really a winger.

  2. Based on what I have seen of the young lad, my feeling is that he is more suited to a role in the front three rather than in the cauldron of the midfield in the physically demanding EPL.

    1. I agree with you. He lost most of his duels against Bodø, and this means a great danger specially against rhe good sides. He’s physically so weak and is not a runner. He doesn’t track the ball wheather he loses it or any of hia team mates.

      So basically the point here is that he’s neither the most hard working nor the one who commits final third defensive actions. I hope he and the coaches can work on this.

      Neverthless, what he’s offered over odegaard is his ruthlessness infront of goal and the ability to shoot from far

  3. He quite easily could take precendence over Odegaard, but I’d prefer them to rotate unless Vieira can be found a way of playing in the same team, and given his proven goal scoring record he’d be such an asset.

  4. He needs a full season in the league before one can make a smart decision on him, but the quality is there.

  5. Really exciting prospect. He’s perpetual motion so pressing will not be a problem and positionally can play in many positions although not as a winger. Intelligent player and will learn fast but needs time to bulk up and get used to the EPL pace and physicality. Yes he can play Ode’s position but also as an 8 alongside him once he has developed, as his skill set is subtly different. Both are great passers who see forward spaces quickly, but currently Ode is stronger on the ball while Vieira wants to get into the box and is a much better finisher. If him and Marquinhos keep developing in the Europa I can see both starting EPL games by the end of the season.
    We have such an exciting squad and they are all improving together, so much so that we can handle injuries to anyone except Partey or Xhaka without breaking stride – is anybody missing ESR?

    1. If he bulks up he would weaken some of his skills.. Cazorla was amazing without the need to bulk up.

      1. Exactly my point. Look at B. Silva tearing teams apart regularly over at man city. Bulk has nothing to do with ability.

  6. Let him cook in that No 10 role. Odegaard and Vieira should not be deeper. They are not suited to 4-3-3. To get the best out of them they need to play in their No. 10 role. We need more passes to supply Gabriel J. with. Sometimes he doesn’t get enough support and he’ll be doing things all by himself.

    1. I firmly believe odegaard could play the 8 position given a bit of time. I think his skillset is well suited, but he might need strengthen his body a little more. Imo he’s much more of a “controller” of the play than a true attacker and I think he could develop into something like modric if he wanted.
      I think Vieira’s talent is much more in the final third, not only for scoring goals, but i think he is better than odegaard at making the final pass – although I admit I could be wrong on that point; it’s still early days with him.

  7. My opinion is that MA and EDU are plainly trying to bring in versatile players who are comfortable in more than one or even more still, positions.
    Vieira fits that description well. I do not think MA regards players as “replacements” at all , but as new players making the collective strength more effective .

    No one player is ever exactly like another and we OUGHT to cease thinking in that old fashioned way and look at the wider picture of how modern football is fast leaving the old thinking way behind.

    We fans need to keep up with the revolution in how top level teams play.

    I also think that such as Guardiola and others, including MA, are showing all we fans how we need to modernise our thinking regarding players positions.

    Flexibility and being comfortable wherever you are on the pitch is the guiding principle why City are so far ahead of lesser, more traditional in style sides. The new and successful change in Xhakas position and, more importantly his effectiveness, is but one example, albeit a prime one!

    We are clearly modelling our style, to a degree, on that of City with, consequently, RATHER UNSURPRISING SUCCESS.
    Just my take!

  8. One could ask if Zinchenko can take over Tierney’s role, or White with Tomi’s – what about Nelson and Nketiah?

    What I see happening is MA building a squad of players, who have different strengths, but are round pegs to fit a round hole… depending on what he thinks is needed against the opponent.

    We’re not quite there yet, but we proved yesterday that we are on the way.

  9. Has Saliba a whole season playing for Arsenal before a smart decision is passed on him?
    This Vieira has shown in the 2 competitive matches he started for Arsenal this season Epl@Brentford and home in the Europa against Bodo that he’s not only good but can be trusted to deliver Arsenal,.
    I think should trust him more by selecting him to start on his own merit in the Epl. Say for instance in our home Epl match against Liverpool on Sunday. But not until Odegaard isn’t available before he will start.
    And the way Arteta came out publicly in his last presser to highlight the negatives he has noted in Vieira’s game performance in our last Bodo match leaves much to be desired imo for it showed he is less appreciative of Vieira’s very effective and productive performances for Arsenal so far this season.

    1. You got it wrong. Arteta pointing what his player must improve on is exactly what coaches do. Should he ignore & say develop/improve whatever and however you like?
      Again, throwing him to start a game against an attacking team like Liverpool when he still can’t defend well is not it.
      Be patient, guy will get better

  10. Odegaard and Vieira don’t want to be in the same team together.
    They are too lightweight and Odegaard always goes missing in bigger games.
    I’m still not convinced why people go on about how good Odegaard is.
    He’s a liability when he defends as well.

  11. No, he needs more experienced people like Ode to start performing, and this is what we saw when Ode came in. He lacks confidence, and it will take time for him to start for us in EPL.

    Ode, Marti and Jesus are our key players that can change any game; so far, Saka is still “hiding,” and I’m expecting him to start showing up gradually.

    I wish MA start playing ESR and Nel more often so that we can get them ready when needed.

  12. Having read through the comments, Ken, Jon and GAI saved me saying the same as they did…

    – Building a versatile squad (helps with injuries)
    – We change formations fluidly, some roles are non-standard
    – Vieira probably not great in the winger role

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