Fabio Vieira: The ‘rebel’ wonder is now playing in the Premier League at Arsenal | football news

Vieira, wow. Vieira, wow. The hymn was ready. Of course, it was first heard in another era, and it was directed at another player. But Arsenal supporters were good enough to recycle one of the club’s most famous fan songs and put it to good use.

Beneficiary Fabio Vieira. His name, synonymous with one of Arsenal’s most beloved and respected former players, reverberates throughout the Emirates Stadium as the 22-year-old fired the ball into the net from handsome Gabriel Jesus pieces. This is his second goal for Arsenal.

Europa League nights have been a chance for the midfielder to shine so far this season. Against Bodou/Glimt in early October, the Portugal youth international shone more than any other player. His performance was astonishing – a glimpse into why Arsenal are willing to part with £35m for his services. Compared, since then, to former fan favorite Santi Cazorla’s class.

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This result, a routine 3-0 win, will not be remembered by the club’s renewed fan base for long, and it’s great to know about the win this season, but Vieira’s performance sparked curiosity. He was ordered to chant his name. This left the Emirates wanting more.

As he sits chatting at Arsenal’s training base in London Colney, Vieira isn’t much in his comfort zone. A Portuguese-speaking, tackling the intricacies of the English language proves a little more difficult than skating around the football field, sprinkling tempting passes at will.

Fabio Vieira celebrated Arsenal's third goal after being cornered by Gabriel Jesus
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Fabio Vieira celebrates a goal against Bodo/Glimt after being cornered by Gabriel Jesus

“Easy words please,” he asked with a smile.

“I only spoke English in school. But at my school, I’m a crazy kid, you know? I didn’t like school so I didn’t learn much English at a young age. I was a rebel. Maybe I would always wait until lunchtime to go to the stadium to play football with my friends .

“At first it was difficult, but I have a lot of Portuguese [speaking] colleagues here. But you have to learn, you have to talk to other players and try to learn as fast as you can.

Suffice to say, getting used to Arsenal’s ingenuity and style came more naturally in midfield. Technician by trade, Vieira’s ability on the ball is what initially caught the eye for the Porto Academy product.

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Born in Santa Maria da Vera, just south of Porto, Vieira spent 15 years at his childhood club before the “Brazilian” – Arsenal head coach Edo – came along. However, North London and its wide cultural differences do not seem to overwhelm the young man. On the contrary. It’s just his new stadium.

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Fabio Vieira’s amazing goal against Brentford from the best angle.

“Everyone welcomed me from day one,” he continued. “For me, it is very important to feel that confidence. I feel comfortable here. I feel good. I feel at home.”

“I remember the first day I came here to sign. Edu, the Brazilian, spoke to me to understand what the club is like, how people work here, the history of the club. Of course, it’s a big club, a big club, everyone knows that. I’m happy to be here.”

On the pitch, Arsenal pull off the big guns. Top guns, even. They won nine of their first 10 matches in a first division season for the first time in their history. They are only the sixth team in Premier League history to achieve the feat – four of the previous five have won the title at the end of the season.

A wave of optimism has swept Highbury and Islington in a way not seen since the unprecedented success of the Arsene Wenger era. While urging caution, Vieira shows how players benefit from recovery.

“Everyone is happy that we are top of the league. It’s really good. Everyone is playing well and we all understand what the coach expects from us. We are happy to be in first place, but it’s early. The atmosphere is great on the field, we are happy with it.

“At Arsenal, everyone has high quality. All the players are playing well. So the competition is high, you can always be better. For me it is clear to work well but also to learn. I am young, we have a young team.”

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Admittedly, the atmosphere inside the Emirates, once described as calm and low-key, rose several notches during the campaign. It is a direct result of Arsenal’s superiority at the start of the season. Players benefit from it.

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Is it time to believe the hype?

“Inside the club, including the fans, they feel a lot. The passion, when we are on the field we feel the love. It is a special club. It can also be a special club for me.

“The most important thing is to think game by game. We have to play game by game. We should only think about the present. Yes of course we are top of the league. In Europe too. We want to win every game. In the final we will see what can happen.”

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Free to watch: Highlights from Leeds vs Arsenal in the Premier League.

The rising decibel levels are a sure sign that Arsenal’s young squad are impressive. Arsenal are on average the youngest starting age in the league this season (24 years 195 days). But with youth comes energy and vitality.

They are the only team to score in both league competitions so far this season. To further illustrate the point, since May 22 Arsenal have won 14 games in all competitions – only one club equaling them in Europe’s top five leagues (Real Madrid).

Swing momentum is important. The sun rises in the red half of north London, to which Vieira himself credits.

“I’ve played in Porto for 15 years. It’s a different culture, a different time. I think now it’s amazing. It’s because of me, right? I come from Portugal and bring the sun,” he joked.

Fabio Vieira celebrates with Granit Xhaka after scoring Arsenal's third goal
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Granit Xhaka congratulates Fabio Vieira after scoring his first Arsenal goal against Brentford

“This is my first big change. I’m here alone with my girlfriend and it’s a different world. But we have to adapt. I think now, three or four months here, I’m fine.”

He continued, “It’s more physical. It’s different football. I planned to work out in the gym, do more physical things. Twice a week in the gym. During the last interview, I said three but that’s twice. My fault.”

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If the name didn’t immediately alert, or even endear, Vieira’s presence, football did. Even with limited opportunities to show his abilities, he has grabbed the spotlight.

“I want to take chances,” he said eloquently.

“I really like him,” former Arsenal player Martin Keown said recently. “He has great abilities. He hits the ball well. He is getting better and better.” Only nine games in his Gunners career are the acclaim.

“You see quality every time he’s in the box,” Arteta said of his Portuguese protégé earlier this month. “He’s a real smart player.”

Vieira’s prowess didn’t go unnoticed in the pits either. He never seems rushed, taking everything in his stride, including adopting second-hand Arsenal classics. His face lit up as he remembered the melody: “Ah, my song.”

“Of course, when I hear this song, I feel so happy for it. You can feel the love from the stands, they get to know you. They help you a lot to make you feel at home. I feel so happy when I hear my song on the pitch.”

There is an elixir in Arsenal. The players float in confidence – this was rationalized by coach Mikel Arteta. Belief radiates throughout the venue with an infectious intent, thanks in large part to the significant results achieved over arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur and arch-rivals Liverpool in recent weeks.

Mikel Arteta spoke to Fabio Vieira as Arsenal maintained their 3-2 lead against Liverpool
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Mikel Arteta spoke to Fabio Vieira as Arsenal maintained their 3-2 lead against Liverpool

Vieira ends up talking about his burgeoning relationship with the mysterious Spaniard who is leading the charge.

Communication is easy [with Arteta]. I love Mikel, he’s a good coach. The way he talks to the guys is amazing. Everyone understands what they want. Everyone knows what they want for the team. For me, it’s easy to play for a coach like this.

“Sometimes when I’m on the bench you can see it. You can see it from the bench or from the field – very emotional, you know? But that’s part of it. As a coach, it’s important. He just wants to help us and he wants the best for the players.”

And now, “the best”, is no less than what is delivered.

Watch Southampton vs Arsenal live on Sky Sports Main Event from 1pm on Sunday; Departure 2 pm.

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About the Author: Lucinda Lima

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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