Patrick Vieira has revealed that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger never “showed him the way” into management.
Vieira, who was part of Wenger’s team in their most successful period under the Frenchman, is now manager of New York City FC after working with Manchester City’s youth teams.
It has long been questioned why Vieira was allowed to join Manchester City’s management staff, and most reports over the years have speculated that Arsene Wenger never approached Vieira about a role at Arsenal in the first place.
Although that was just speculation, Vieira has now confirmed that there was never a conversation between himself and Wenger, and also that Wenger has not played any part in his managerial career.
“I’m not saying Arsene didn’t give me the desire to manage. He might have done so without me realising, but he never guided me, never showed me the way,” he said, according to Goal.com
Gunners fans were less than happy when the former Arsenal legend accepted a training and youth development role at Manchester City with the title of Football Development Executive, especially considering his history with the club and his role as a leader during his time there.
Vieira has also said that Wenger has similarly opted not to take a more active role in moving former players into a management role, and feels this is a shame.
“Maybe Arsene wanted his former players to do it on their own. I find that a bit of a shame because all those who left Arsenal and who are managers always got on well with him. It’s a bit sad to not see old players in Arsenal’s staff. They love the club. After that, it’s not because we played at Arsenal that we deserve to be manager. All is earned, but the desire is there.”
Vieira, who was an integral part of Wenger’s most successful years with Arsenal having made 279 appearances over a 9 year period, followed his time at Arsenal with relatively successful spells at Juventus and Inter Milan. He then finally joined Manchester City, where he would eventually retire.
Vieira is hugely popular amongst Arsenal fans, and the news that Arsene Wenger has not offered him a role in any capacity is unlikely to go down well with the Gunners faithful. Wenger has shown that he isn’t completely against the idea of ex-players joining the staff at the club, with Thierry Henry working with the U-18s for a period last season, and Freddie Ljungberg currently working as an U-16 coach at The Emirates – although he is currently the only ex-player who is a member of Wenger’s staff.
There is ample time for Vieira to make a return to Arsenal, however, and one feels this story is far from over.