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Thursday, 12 September, 2002, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Should Vieira take a break?
Patrick Vieira is very tired
Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira says he needs a rest just five games into the Premiership season because he is burned out.

Should Arsene Wenger give him some time off?


Vieira has asked Wenger to withdraw him from the Gunners squad, claiming his performances have been affected because he is so tired.

In an interview with French magazine l'Equipe, he complained that Arsenal's successes last season, coupled with his exploits at the World Cup, have left him exhausted.

He played 66 games last term, and appeared in his 42nd consecutive international in France's 2-1 win over Cyprus last weekend.

Do you sympathise with Vieira? Or should he stop his moaning?


This debate is now closed


I have sympathy for Vieira. He's played on average more than a game a week for the last five years - can't say I'm surprised if his body's telling him it could do with a prolonged break. Money's got nothing to do with it.

At the end of the day, I think all the Gunners can rest assured that Wenger knows how to deal with this sort of thing and when Vieira plays his next game, he will be 100% motivated again.
Ed, UK


Is it a co-incidence that he complains of being tired and asking for a rest just days after being told he's facing a misconduct charge?
Graham, England

You don't hear second and third division players moaning because they are tired. These players really are playing for their lives. Mrs Vieira gets paid more in a week than some of these guys get paid in a year....

I am sure if he was getting paid 5k a week and not sure if his contract was going to be renewed he wouldn't be feeling tired!!!!
Dave Richards, UK

What Patrick said has probably been taken out of context. He played on Saturday and then in a tough game on Tuesday. He may have felt tired but that does not mean he will not be ready for the game against Charlton.
Aran, England

I cannot believe Vieira, just consider the hours the doctors/nurses and firemen work for the meagre wage they get a week.
Brian L, UK

Is it a co-incidence that he complains of being tired and asking for a rest just days after being told he's facing a misconduct charge? Can't Arsenal find an injury that needs an operation and some weeks in bed? That way he'll get his rest and serve his ban without missing out.
Graham, England


Being captain holds responsibility, which means playing in as many games as possible and leading the team
EJP, England

It is a well known fact that rest is as important as any amount of training, in optimising the performance of the body.

He is a valuable asset of the club and must be treated as such. Arsenal must decide whether the amount of rest he needs, the amount they pay him and the performance they receive from him is all compatible, and equals a fine investment.
Mike, UK

I don't understand all those spiteful comments about Vieira's request, people who make them are being malicious or just fools. I don't think you can get really tired of playing two times at week and training a couple of hours daily.

But what people don't realize is how tired mentally you can get from playing every weekend in front of thousands of people judging your every movement, having to fight for a championship, going through a World Cup that was just a nightmare. And then come back to England with the new responsibility of being the captain of the team.
Charles Benneth, Canada

Whoever is saying bad things about Patrick should stop talking. This man is the captain and also the engine of the team, - they should be glad he is not asking late in the season when he is really needed. He played a lot of games last season - including friendlies and the World Cup for France.
Dane, Jamaica

Vieira is banned for the Bolton game and would have been rested anyway, so that doesn't really matter. But he should also consider the fact that he is team captain and the players will need his influence on the pitch.

Being captain holds responsibility, which means playing in as many games as possible and leading the team. I am a great fan of Vieira and he will lead us to even greater things, but I'm afraid I can not sympathise with this plea.
EJP, England


He is just moaning - make him play!
Brent Alldred, UK

Do me a favour! If he can't hack the pace and pressure of life in the Premiership then maybe he should go an play in Italy where the style of play is a little slower, I'm sure you would find any number of talented young British Kids who currently don't get an opportunity, and would be happy to play professional football for a Premiership side.
Andy, USA

If one of my employees tells me that they are unwell I either have to take it at face value or get it checked out by the Doctor. Wenger isn't stupid and he will do the sensible thing.
Andrew Cohen, England

I don't see what all the fuss is about. Paddy said after playing on Tuesday he was tired. What have his wages got to do with it? Don't rich people get tired? Why is anyone interested? He said he's tired, because he was, so what? I really don't understand why everyone is getting so worked up.
Karen, UK

A Rest? I just don't understand how he can ask for that with a straight face - with the amount he gets paid he should be playing a match every day. Many people work a lot harder for a lot less. He is just moaning - make him play!
Brent Alldred, UK

I agree with Mike. At the end of the day, Patrick works hard for the club, and if Arsenal are to put in a serious attempt for the Champions League and the Premiership, Patrick should be rested now, so we don't suffer the consequences later.
Kristian, UK

Why is everyone being so malicious? Vieira is a human being just like the rest of us. No matter how much training he does he still needs to rest after 66 games in a season.


If Vieira wants time off without pay he should say so, otherwise he should train hard, go to bed early and concentrate on earning his wages
Ray Richards, Canada

He admits it affects his performance, so it's not as if Wenger is forcing him. Arsenal have mountains of quality midfielders who can step in for him while he rests.
Arvin Mehdizadeh, UK

It's an insult to every paying supporter. We, the normal population, feel like this all year round and earn less in a year than he earns in a week.
Colin Thomas, UK

Vieira is no wimp and if he says he needs a rest then he most probably does. However, I have to question the wisdom of his asking through the media. Whatever's wrong with the old fashioned way of knocking on the boss's office door and having a quiet chat with him? Why do everything through the media via your agent?
Bill, UK

If Vieira wants time off without pay he should say so, otherwise he should train hard, go to bed early and concentrate on earning his wages.
Ray Richards, Canada

What a load of rubbish Vieira is talking! What did he do while the rest of us were still involved in the World Cup? He's had a longer holiday than most of us will ever get. Stop winging and get on with your job, or go home and let a younger player have an opportunity to play with a top team.
Tony Varney, Thailand

I would ask him if he wanted to continue receiving his salary while he was resting.
Andrew Muir, Chile


Give Pat a break! He may be highly paid but he is specifically asking for a break because tiredness is affecting his form
Matt, UK

It makes me laugh when I hear of players wanting rest. Listen Patrick, after two hours training go home and put your feet up for the rest of the day. You'll then feel refreshed and will hopefully stop moaning!
Chris Reeket, Holland

I think Vieira should stop moaning and get on with his game! He gets paid an enormous amount of money to play a couple of times a week and train everyday. Is that so hard? I play football twice a week and train twice a week and I love it! Plus I don't get paid.
Andy Williams, England

Give Pat a break! He may be highly paid but he is specifically asking for a break because tiredness is affecting his form. That is a valid reason in any workplace, especially if he feels a one game break will significantly improve his performances later on.
Matt, UK

Vieira hasn't contributed a lot to Arsenal's cause since the middle of last season. Worse, his disciplinary record makes him a liability. If he really is worth a Rio type transfer fee Wenger should cash him in and give Pennant his long overdue chance. The money could buy both Thuram and a class forward.
Chris Wheatley, New Zealand

Didn't he have a holiday and a rest in the summer? Oh no, that was France's attempt at a World Cup. No wonder Arsenal will win nothing when their captain is spineless. Give me Roy Keane any day.
Chris, England

I don't see what connection how much money you get paid has to do with whether you get tired or not. What he is saying is that you won't see the best of him unless he takes a break. I would say play Patrick, but don't push yourself. When people start going on about your poor performance, you can say, "I told you I needed a break".
KC, UK


If players keep playing so many games they will end up retiring younger
Niamh Brennan, Ireland

What a load of rubbish. Why is it people lose perspective when talking about the "demands" on footballers. Vieira effectively had the summer off, and has the agonizing prospect of playing at the most two games a week for Arsenal, and training a few hours a day.
Rob C, England

Maybe he has forgotten that France actually finished the World Cup earlier than Ireland, Germany, England, Senegal and Turkey - all of whom have players playing in the Premiership. We have heard nothing from any of those players in relation to being tired!
Trev, Eire

Vieira is right. Not all the players in the Premiership looked fresh coming into the new season, and I can't understand why clubs make them play so many pre-season matches. If players keep playing so many games they will end up retiring younger.
Niamh Brennan, Ireland

Rest the man! He's our best player, and if we don't satisfy what he wants, he might play below par, and could even leave the club. Arsenal must succumb to his demands, because as a top European club, you don't want your captain having bad relations with the coach.
Damen, Australia

Wenger should, and I am sure will, take Vieira's request seriously. We still have a long way to go in the season and it is great our captain asked as early as possible. I mean, Wenger can easily afford a break for him now, but later it might just be impossible. Pat deserves it.
Mike, UK


Pay me a million pounds a year, and I will play all days, all year long
Dawit Samuel, Canada

A rest? What is it with footballers? The physical demands placed on these guys are nowhere near the demands placed on rugby players who are constantly beating themselves stupid every week with a much higher intensity of training. Proves the theory that football really is a game for fairies.
Dan, UK

Gary Neville broke his foot at the end of last season because he plays too many games. I'd hate to see the same thing happen to Vieira...
Mohammed Suliman, Saudi Arabia (UK)

Last year's success was not achieved with Patrick Vieira not being at his very best, indeed he was suspended as usual for some games. You must wonder about his commitment to the club at this early part of the season. Would Tony Adams ask for time off? I do not think so. This must be the prelude to Patrick leaving the club. Real Madrid must be rubbing their hands.
Dave Dilley, UK

No sympathy. Pay me a million pounds a year, and I will play all days, all year long.
Dawit Samuel, Canada

Considering how much money he is paid he really should shut up and get on with his job. I get tired and still have to go to work!
Rob, UK

It would be nice if I could tell my boss I needed time off 'cause I was "tired". I know what he would say, you can have all the free time in the world...in the dole queue.
Carl, England

If he really needs a rest that badly, so soon after the season starts, he should just get himself booked a couple more times and he will get a couple of weeks off. Problem solved.
Matt, UK

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12 Sep 02 | Arsenal
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