By Noel Whelan

20th May, 2022 | 9:36am

Patrick Vieira: Pundit demands action after controversial footage emerges from Everton - 'it's dangerous'

Noel Whelan has insisted changes must be made to protect players and staff after an incident involving Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira during the pitch invasion at Everton.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker insisted the onus falls on the clubs, stewards and police to prevent “dangerous situations”.

In footage relayed by Sky Sports News from Thursday’s game (19 May), Vieira can be seen in an altercation with a supporter who came onto the pitch at Goodison Park.

The individual filmed and taunted the Palace boss with hand gestures.

Vieira eventually retaliated before Everton fans ushered him away.

Whelan insisted he has “no problems” with the 45-year-old’s reaction and insisted action must be taken.

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Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “It is a dangerous situation because there is no control. I think that’s the biggest point. It’s not a controlled environment when the fans stream onto the pitch.

“They’re full of beer, they’ve been drinking, their emotions are high. We’ve already seen an assault on Billy Sharp. Now we’ve seen scenes where it can become uncomfortable and dangerous with fans goading people.

“Look, you’ve got to protect yourself. This is three times now. Swindon, Sheffield United, now last night with Patrick Vieira. Where are the stewards going on the pitch and taking key players and personnel off?

“It’s not a controlled environment, it becomes dangerous then. It becomes a state where you’ve got to look after yourself. You should never be in that position anyway. As a football player or as a manager, you are doing a job out there and there is no protection.

“I’ve got no problems with Patrick Vieira looking after himself because it’s a situation where you need to, unfortunately. Stewards aren’t there, police aren’t there, where are the stewards around the field? Where are the police around the field?

“This is something the club need to look at. I’ve got no problem with people celebrating if there is control in the stands. Now, if they want to come on the pitch at the end of the game when everyone’s off safely, absolutely not an issue.

“Celebrate with your own players, celebrate together on the field. Let them on, let them look up at the directors, give them a round of applause and let them appreciate the fans for their part.

“But get the players and the managers off the field first.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire claims ‘eyebrows raised’ over £170m Everton claim as new details emerge.