The iconic Gunners midfielder was hoping to take up a coaching role at his beloved Arsenal, but ended up becoming a coach at Manchester City instead.
Patrick Vieira’s compatriot and former teammate Emmanuel Petit recently spoke on French channel SFR Sport about Vieira being ‘disgusted’ at Arsene Wenger and Arsenal because he was not offered a coaching role at the club. This comes after another iconic Gunner Thierry Henry quit his role as U18 coach after Arsenal told him to quit his football analyst job with Sky Sports.
Vieira recently responded to these comments by Petit, who played for Arsenal between 1997 to 2000. The New York City FC manager insisted that there was no spat between him and Wenger, but admitted that he was disappointed at not being offered a coaching role by Arsenal.
“I was a bit disappointed not to get a call at the end of my career,” said Vieira in an exclusive interview with French publication L’Equipe. “Arsene has the right to think you don’t deserve it, that you’re not ready… but I think there’s always a way to open the door.”
“As a player I wanted to go as high as possible. Same now. My dream is to manage one of Europe’s biggest teams one day.”
Vieira spent nine years at Arsenal, winning several personal accolades as well as titles. The tenacious holding midfielder helped the Gunners lift four FA Cup and three Premier League trophies, including their ‘Invincibles’ title in 2003-04.
After beginning his coaching career with the youth team at Manchester City, the 40-year-old Frenchman moved on to New York City FC in the MLS, where he is currently the first team manager.
A number of other Arsenal greats were mentioned by Petit in his rant on SFR Sports, including the likes of Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Tony Adams. Bergkamp is now assistant manager at Ajax, while Adams is the head of youth development at Chinese Super League club Chongqing Lifan.
Any one of these four would have been accepted with open arms by the fans in a managerial role, while their coaching skills could have been enhanced at the Emirates. However, they were all let go of by the club, and as Arsene Wenger prepares to bow out after this season, the club will have to look elsewhere for the Frenchman’s heir.