Patrick Vieira unique interview on reworking Crystal Palace’s taking part in model forward of Liverpool conflict | Soccer Information

The move started with a Joel Ward throw-in deep into Crystal Palace territory and ended, 58 seconds later, with Conor Gallagher firing an angled finish into the corner of the Brighton net.

In between, the ball traveled through every Palace player, including goalkeeper Jack Butland. The patient, 20-pass build-up carved Brighton open and while the goal was not enough to win the game, the mention of it still prompts a smile from Patrick Viera a week later.

“I knew it was a nice goal in terms of the build-up from the back, but I didn’t realize in the moment that every player had touched the ball because I was too into the game,” he tells Sky Sports. “It was good to see it back, because it shows the way we want to play.”

Vieira is speaking over Zoom from the club’s Beckenham headquarters, where, over the last six months, he has overseen a transformation. The Premier League table shows Palace in roughly the same position as last season. But, from personnel to playing style, pretty much everything else is different.

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Free to watch: Highlights from Crystal Palace’s 1-1 draw with Brighton

Vieira’s predecessor, Roy Hodgson, did fine work across his four-year tenure, providing stability in difficult circumstances and helping to establish Crystal Palace’s presence in the Premier League.

But the football was functional rather than thrilling and there was an appetite for change. Vieira came in with a remit to overhaul the team and modernize the style and that is precisely what he has done.

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Vieira has completely overhauled Crystal Palace’s playing style

“That was the direction of the chairman [Steve Parish] wanted to take and it is one of the reasons I am here as well because he understood the way I wanted the team to play,” he says.

“It was a risk, obviously, to change the style, and even more when you have that kind of transition of players, where you lose 12 and bring in eight young guys without much experience in the Premier League.

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“So, when you are looking at what was going to be the first 10 games of the season [which included meetings with Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City], you see all the elements are there to have a difficult period.

“But with the support to implement my philosophy, and with the togetherness of the football club – and when I talk about togetherness, I am talking about the chairman, [sporting director] Dougie (Freedman), and the staff – we managed to get through it, allowing me to focus on the way I wanted to team to play.”

Vieira shakes his head immediately when asked if the scale of the task at hand made him think twice about taking the job – “I was really excited about coming,” he says – and Palace fans are glad he didn’t.

The 45-year-old, a three-time title-winner with Arsenal who cut his teeth as a coach at Manchester City’s academy before spells in charge of New York City FC and French side Nice, has instilled optimism in the stands and brought freshness on the pitch.

A raft of youthful summer signings, including Gallagher (21), Marc Guehi (21) and Michael Olise (20), has lowered the average age of the side by two years, and while Palace sit 11th in the Premier League table ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Liverpool, the underlying data ranks them as the eighth-best performers in the division.

Do the numbers offer encouragement to Vieira?

“When you look at the data side of things, you can say, ‘Yeah, we should be a little bit higher in the table’, and that’s positive,” he says. “But on the other side, it’s about trying to understand why you are not where you are supposed to be, or where you want to be.

“It’s about understanding and trying to find the things that will make us a better team so we can improve those kind of details to get better results. So, overall, yes, it’s positive, but it’s not enough for what I want. I will always be demanding and wanting more from the players because I believe they have the potential to do more.”

The main areas for improvement are clear to him.

“I would like the team to be more ruthless in both boxes,” says Vieira.

Michael Olise celebrates his goal against Leicester

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Michael Olise celebrates with James McArthur

“That means on the defensive side, but at the same time, when we are winning 1-0 and we have a couple of chances to score the second one, I want us to have that kind of ruthlessness to score the goal that would allow us to go two ahead.

“It is about having a maturity, and that comes with experience. Hopefully, in the second half of the season, it will be one of the areas we really improve, but it does take time to get to that.”

Vieira’s philosophy is vital to him. “I knew that if I decided to go into coaching,” he says, “this would be how I would like to see my teams play, because when I go to watch matches, I like this kind of intensity, possession and trying to play forward and score goals.”

But he is a pragmatist too. In October, he steered Palace to a 2-0 win at Manchester City with just 32 per cent possession. On Sunday against Liverpool, he knows they will need to be flexible again.

“The goal against Brighton is good because it highlights the way we want to play, but we are not going to score goals like that every weekend,” he says. “We need to understand that scoring in different ways is as important as scoring in that way.

“It’s important to be consistent with style, but at the same time it’s important to have the right gameplan depending on the team you are going to play. Obviously, if you want to have possession when you play against Manchester City, for example, you know that is… not impossible, but really difficult.

“So it is about knowing that and saying, ‘What are we going to do instead?’ That is another side of the game we need to improve as well, when we don’t have the ball.

“That is something we have to learn and we have to put more emphasis on that because those kinds of teams have the philosophy and the players, so it will be difficult to match them on that side.

“I’m not telling you we are going to change our philosophy, but we have to take into account the strength and the quality of the opposition team.”

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp praises Patrick Vieira’s impact at Palace

That certainly applies to Palace’s next opponents.

Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Vieira’s former club Arsenal on Thursday in the Carabao Cup semi-final showed they remain a formidable proposition even without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane but Crystal Palace will at least have the visceral support of a bouncing Selhurst Park behind them.

Under Vieira, they have accrued 71 per cent of their Premier League points there, and only lost twice – to Aston Villa and West Ham – in all competitions. The connection between fans and players feels stronger than ever this season.

“It’s massively important,” says Vieira. “Since I’ve been here, I really understand the relationship between the fans and the club and the players. There is a passion, there is caring, there is really a love that the fans show to the players, and I believe it is massively important for the players, staff and everyone to show that love back.

Conor Gallagher, Crystal Palace

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Conor Gallagher has become a fans’ favorite among Palace supporters

“One of the ways we can do that when we are on the field is to play with passion and love and determination, because those fans deserve that.”

Vieira uses Gallagher as an example. The Chelsea loanee has earned plaudits for his goals and assists this season but it is his work rate that has most endedeared him to the fans, according to his manager.

“I think the way that Conor plays reflects really well that connection we have with the fans,” says Vieira. “This is one of the reasons why he is one of the fans’ favorites as well. Those qualities are what our fans love, when players on the field play with enthusiasm, with happiness.

“Of course, they understand the game too. They know that making mistakes, passing the ball at the wrong time, is a part of the game. But what they want is for the players to play with soul and heart. I think they have been doing that fantastically well.”

Watch Crystal Palace vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League from 1pm on Sunday; kick off 2pm

How the CFO function is reworking media and leisure

The following is a contribution from Stephen Blume, Vice President of Finance at Symphony MediaAI. The opinions expressed are your own.

Historically, media and entertainment CFOs were seen as leaders who managed expenses and always looked for ways to cut overheads. But these views are becoming obsolete.

Media and entertainment CFOs today prepare for tectonic changes in consumption as the pandemic subsides.

The pandemic accelerated the trend towards convenient in-home streaming services that offered a variety of choices. Many media and entertainment companies have acquired new customers at little cost. However, new content and affordable pricing options are required to keep these viewers’ subscriptions.

Media and entertainment companies also need to make sure they define their streaming strategies. Not all of them will have the same reach as Netflix. It will be important to serve niches and develop unique offerings in order to stay competitive in this area.

Stephen Blume

Courtesy Symphony MediaAI

These shifts are why six out of ten CFOs report that the demands on their role have increased since the beginning of the pandemic, requiring real-time forecasting and predictive analytics capabilities.

Technology as a differentiator

The role of CFO in media and entertainment has become increasingly complex. Ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) and other direct-to-consumer models have complicated sales management and data analysis workflows designed for traditional license and sales revenue. Binge and churn subscribers and general customer churn have shifted the organizational focus to KPIs like Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

The good news is that as this complex ecosystem reacts to the end of the pandemic, revenues are unlikely to decline. They’ll grow at a much slower rate, however, as streamers gained so many subscribers last year. Unfortunately, that also means the cost of customer acquisition is likely to rise as media and entertainment companies compete for market share through promotions and prizes or through mergers and acquisitions, the latter of which have already started deals between them Amazon / MGM and Warner Bros. / Discovery.

This increasingly complex, competitive, and data-driven media and entertainment industry requires CFOs to take on more strategic roles in their companies. You can – and should – develop new skills to deliver strategic value in a landscape that changed dramatically just five years ago. This increasingly also includes a commitment to new technologies.

According to Ernst & Young, 58 percent of executives are from the media and entertainment sectors prioritize Process automation to optimize “low-value but necessary activities in labor-intensive corporate functions”. Gartner continues reported that 75 percent of CFOs expect to invest more time and effort into the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) in 2021 than in previous years.

Much of the media and entertainment industry has already migrated their infrastructures to the cloud and integrated advanced analytics into their products. Think about streaming platforms, content algorithms, and subscriber behavior tracking. By using the same Skills can accelerate CFOs’ financial intelligence. Those who are able to navigate records for new perspectives and insights can identify revenue opportunities, risks, and operational efficiencies that might otherwise not be visible.

Finance teams can use AI to reduce operational overhead, scale data analytics, and improve decision-making quality with continuously available information. AI-powered insights also empower finance teams to deliver value to stakeholder functions such as marketing, sales, product development, and customer experience.

According to IBM, CFOs in the top performing companies are better at using AI and analytics to perform tasks like earnings analysis, planning, and reporting. The provision of real-time, predictive and highly accurate data greatly increases the value of the CFO when it comes to making strategic business decisions.

Disruption brings opportunities

According to a Financial Management Magazine surveyare turning CFOs from stabilizing companies during the coronavirus pandemic to rebuilding revenue streams. For many businesses, investments in technology and data are vital when they recover. Legacy systems need to be replaced allegedly the number one IT priority among M&E executives in 2021.

Subscriptions shifted from a primary source of income to one of many potential moneymakers. AVOD is projected grow by 11 percent CAGR by 2025. Streaming platforms compete with traditional studios, claiming three of the eight images nominated for best motion pictures at the 2021 Oscars.

At the same time, new challenges have arisen for media and entertainment CFOs in terms of customer loyalty and expansion, contractual and legal matters, and sales and license fees. The pandemic accelerated the social and economic trends that fueled these changes.

A Conviva study found Americans spent 44 percent more time watching streaming content in the fourth quarter of 2020 than a year earlier. And in late 2020, Netflix found that of its more than 200 million subscribers worldwide, 37 million had been added in 2020 – including more than 8.5 million new viewers in the fourth quarter alone. More recently, however Netflix reports weaker than expected revenue growth for the first quarter of 2021 due to the easing of bans and tougher competition in the streaming space. The numbers show that even the most successful media companies need every tool imaginable to keep fickle customers after the pandemic.

Data-driven insights enable CFOs and their companies to determine the content that the most viewers are getting and then analyze those viewers in-depth, such as how many viewers prefer which genres and leads, and other analysis. Equipped with AI to sort mountains of data and generate that insight, CFOs can take control of discussions about actor payments and royalties, license distribution, and advertising fees. Going a step further, these insights will make it easier for CFOs to track new growth indicators. In addition to churning rates, they can and should pay attention to customer lifetime value, average revenue per user, average revenue per content, and the total number of hours spent on their service offering.

time to act

Industry conditions have created immense opportunities for CFOs who can use their data to gain future-oriented insights. Incorporating the same analytical skills into the finance functions of media and entertainment companies will speed time-to-insight and ensure that revenue streams across the organization – marketing, content creation, product development, and more – are aligned. It also provides an opportunity to find growth opportunities.

CFOs still have to play the role of company resource allocation, but now they can have more meaningful investment conversations. You just have to employ the right technology to get them where the insight goes.

Hearth cash: how Indigenous land administration is remodeling Arnhem Land | Indigenous Australians

The rains have finished in Arnhem Land. The humid, tropical air is cooling and the prevailing wind has swung to the north-east.

In the Kunwinjku calendar of western Arnhem Land, it is almost Yekke, the transition from the wet to dry season, a pleasant time after months of torrential rain in a good year, or overwhelming heat in a bad year. All six Kunwinjku seasons have their highlights but Yekke is perhaps the most anticipated by Bininj (Aboriginal) people of the region.

Not only does it provide relief from rain and heat but it also signals a time to start planning.

Last month more than 80 Indigenous rangers converged on Maningrida, a community on the top end coast, about 500km east of Darwin, to plan for the main event in the region’s ecological agenda: where and when to start burning.

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For millennia, fire has been the prime land management tool for Indigenous people and, while it has largely been taken out the hands of Aboriginal people in southern Australia, it has been reclaimed with a vengeance up north, with substantial environmental, social and financial results.

“Every year the ranger groups come together to look at the fire scale,” says Terrah Guymula, a senior ranger at Warddeken Land Management Ltd. “We discuss how last year went; if there was any fuel left and maybe trim a little bit here or there to balance the burning.

“There are cultural reasons as well as environmental reasons that we burn. We want to protect small animals like bush rats, quolls and bandicoots because they want to live comfortably, just like us.

“We humans and our native animals have a connection – they play a big role in our ceremony, so we want to protect them and we want them to live forever so our people can see them. Protecting our rock art and anbinik trees is also very important. These are places of sanctuary where our old people used to go and places that tell our stories.”

Burning is strategic and combines modern technology with traditional Aboriginal knowledge. Indigenous rangers spend many hours in helicopters early in the dry season dropping incendiaries, or they walk across country with drip torches creating patches of burned areas that will pull up a wildfire that can start late in the year, when lightning pummels the landscape. What they do is guided by satellite technology and scientific data, as well as local knowledge.

‘Orphan country’

Arnhem Land covers 97,000 sq km of the top end of the Northern Territory. In 1931 the federal government declared the area an Aboriginal reserve and spent many years encouraging Aboriginal people to leave their clan territories and traditional lifestyles to live on missions and settlements administered by Europeans. Consequently, many parts were left bereft of people, or as Bininj say, “became orphan country”.

One of the worst-affected places was the Arnhem Land plateau, known as the stone country, a forbidding and ancient tableland of grey, layered sandstone deeply sliced by gorges and crevasses. The eastern and south-eastern edges of this landscape border Kakadu and Nitmiluk national parks.

The 22,000 sq km plateau, known as Kuwarddewardde by Bininj, is a treasure trove of rock art, where thousands of paintings adorn the walls and ceilings of sandstone shelters. The region’s rock paintings are the longest continuous record of human culture found anywhere in the world; images of hunters and megafauna dating back 30,000 years can be found alongside “contact” art that depicts early European activity.

A life size rock painting at Kundjorlomdjorlom.

It’s home to endemic species including the black wallaroo, the chestnut-quilled rock pigeon, the white-throated grass wren and the Oenpelli python. And Kuwarddewardde is also the source of some of northern Australia’s largest rivers: the East Alligator, the Liverpool, the Daly and the Roper.

By the end of the 1940s, only a handful of clans remained on the plateau and widespread traditional land management practices had declined. Without constant care by Bininj, the plateau changed dramatically. Fuel built up and wildfires raged. Many blazes were left to burn themselves out or be doused by wet season rain.

Driven by their desire to return to country and to escape the pressures of the larger settlements, some older people went back to the bush to set up their own outstations. This was known as the “homeland movement” and began in the 1970s. Bardayal “Lofty” Nadjamerrek and his wife Mary Kalkkiwarra were among the trailblazers; they helped others and then established a settlement at Kabulwarnamyo in the stone country, clearing the country with axes and fire, and living in bush shelters and tents.

An Oenpelli python.

The landowners sought partnerships with non-Indigenous groups. From 1997 the Western Arnhem Land Fire Abatement project brought Indigenous experts into collaboration with scientists to establish strategic fire management programs across Arnhem Land. Combining Indigenous knowledge and western science, they hoped to reduce wildfire damage and greenhouse gas emissions, improve biodiversity and provide a livelihood for traditional custodians and their children.

Subsequent research led to a landmark greenhouse gas offset agreement in 2006 – the West Arnhem Land management agreement – between the gas company ConocoPhillips, the Northern Territory government, the Northern Land Council and traditional owners in western Arnhem Land.

The carbon abatement achieved by Indigenous fire management offset some of the gas emissions generated by Darwin’s liquefied natural gas plant. Under the arrangement, 100,000 carbon credits were generated annually for the plant, worth more than $1m a year. The agreement runs for 17 years.

The methodology that emerged from this project became known as savanna burning and it now provides a way to measure and create carbon credits that can be sold in Australia. Savanna burning generates about 10% of Australia’s carbon credits, according to the emissions reduction fund register.

Fire money

In 2009 the Warddeken Indigenous protected area was declared over the stone country along with the Djelk IPA, which covers the floodplain country from the Arnhem Land plateau to the Arafura Sea, extending west and east of Maningrida. IPAs are a preferred way for the federal government to grow the national reserve system and include Indigenous managers.

Stone country

In 2015 Western Arnhem Land Fire Abatement became Arnhem Land Fire Abatement and it now supports nine Indigenous ranger groups to operate five registered eligible offset projects on Aboriginal Land Trust lands; taking the total number of carbon credits created to more than 4m. A certain number are sold via long-term contracts, including to Darwin LNG and the federal government’s emissions reduction fund, while others are sold on the voluntary market, now valued at more than $18 a tonne (one tonne equates to one carbon credit).

According to Dean Yibarbuk, the chairman of Warddeken Land Management, the concept of making money from fire was “exciting”.

“Basically, we wanted to touch base with western science,” he said. “The old people knew there would be a connection there. They knew the two systems could work together because they overlapped in many ways.

“The idea of carbon credits was unknown to us when I first started, very unknown, it just came together. We just put our hands up and decided to see where it was going to go. We knew what we were doing with fire management was working for our environment but we never thought carbon would become an industry.”

While the sale of carbon credits does not fully fund land management in Arnhem Land, it does provide groups with privately generated income that has opened up a world of possibilities, including for native animal conservation and rock art preservation projects.

Protecting the mayh

Serina Namarnyilk, a stone country traditional owner, used to see mayh (small animals) everywhere when she was a child and her family regularly hunted possums and other creatures.

“We used to find all those mayh but now they are gone somewhere,” she said. “Maybe they have been eaten by cats, or maybe they eat cane toads [and die], maybe it was the wildfires that used to come across from the east and south that scared them away.”

Frankie Nadjimerick setting up motion-sensitive cameras.

Arnhem Land is one of the last great wild areas of the world but since the 1970s many small mammals, including the northern quoll, the black-footed tree rat and the golden bandicoot, have drastically declined in northern Australia: in some areas numbers have been reduced by up to 60%. Other species have fared even worse, such as the northern hopping mouse, which is extinct on the NT mainland.

Traditional owners in the Warddeken IPA have launched their own project to understand why the animals have become less common and what can be done about it. They reinvest the income from carbon sales to employ an ecologist to help rangers undertake research using remote cameras, assessing which animals remain and how many there are at 120 locations on the rugged plateau.

Last month, before the fire meeting, the ecologist, Cara Penton, and rangers Garrett Pamkal and Frankie Nadjamerrek travelled by helicopter to a remote site in the south of the Warddeken IPA where they attached motion-sensitive cameras to sturdy stringybark trees. The cameras will be left for a minimum of five weeks, then recovered and data downloaded.

“I think a strength of this project is that the camera identification is bilingual and the work is done by Bininj,” Penton said. “It is a two-way approach between traditional knowledge and science and the information stays within Warddeken. There have been collaborations with the NT government but Warddeken owns the data. That’s the priority, to build the capacity to do this in-house.”

Rangers travelling by helicopter to to a remote site in the south of the Warddeken IPA.

The program has been going for four years and rangers have discovered two colonies of northern quolls and two areas frequented by black-footed tree rats; they have also learned that much of the plateau is inhabited by feral cats. These discoveries have enabled them to adjust their burning programs. As data accumulates, rangers expect to be more proactive with their biodiversity programs.

‘You belong to that country’

“Fire money” was also used as seed funding for a project that saw Bininj wrest control of rock art research from academia.

Historically, this research has primarily been the domain of anthropologists and archaeologists employed by tertiary institutions with government funding; their findings, including the raw materials of traditional knowledge (interviews and documentation of conversations with traditional owners), photographic images and artefacts taken from sites, often remained with institutions. Rarely did all the data come back to a community in any form other than a research paper or government document.

Rock art research grants are largely directed through the Australian Research Council, while grants to study any aspect of rock art are rarely given to Indigenous organisations. But now Bininj have turned that model on its head.

In 2010 Aboriginal elders from the Warddeken and Djelk IPAs established the Karrkad-Kanjdji Trust to seek alternative sources of funding for land management and cultural projects. The trust approaches Australian and international philanthropic organisations and individuals. It established a $5m rock art project in Arnhem Land, with the Ian Potter Foundation the main contributor.

According to Shaun Ansell, Warddeken Land Management’s chief executive, the rock art program shows how Bininj are claiming control of their future.

Warddeken daluk (female) rangers travel across Arnhem Land with scientist Alys Stevens and Co-ordinator Georgia Vallance.

“In the past we have had to fall in line with government and bureaucratic policy,” he says. “Philanthropy allows us to connect with funders who are willing to support the vision of communities and organisations like ours.”

In 2019 Bininj established an independent school at Kabulwarnamyo and two more are planned for ranger centres at Manmoyi and Mamadawerre – education initiatives funded through fire money. Parents who work as rangers, mechanics, teachers and in administration will not have to return to larger centres to educate their kids or be separated from their families. More than 80 jobs have been created by the burning program in the Warddeken IPA, with at least 300 jobs across Arnhem Land.

The fire program has meant Arnhem Land is being rejuvenated physically and culturally.

“We are bringing young people back to the country through employment,” Terrah Guymula says. “They recognise the country, see where they come from and walk that land. A lot of people understand and many want to come back – I tell them not to be shy because you belong to that country.

“They understand their stories are here. They go there and touch the wall and see the story. It is written down, it is in the country. Once we put our foot there it comes up out of the ground. That’s how we see it as Bininj people.”