Patrick Vieira says he’s flattered that people think he could become Arsenal manager but maintains he’s happy learning his trade in the MLS with New York City FC.
The Frenchman spent nine years at Highbury winning three titles and four FA Cups under Arsene Wenger, who announced yesterday that he’ll be stepping down as the Gunners coach in the summer.
While his connection with the Gunners runs deep, the World Cup winner insists that a shared history isn’t enough of a qualification for such a big role.
“I spent nine years at Arsenal which makes the club really special for me,” he told New York radio station WNYE.
“But that is not enough to coach the team.”
He added: “I am always flattered to hear my name linked with different football clubs. That is good for your ego but at the same time, I am happy here.
“We will see what will happen in the next couple of years.”
Vieira left Arsenal for Juventus in 2005 before spending time at Inter Milan and Manchester City. In addition to winning nine trophies with Arsene Wenger, he secured eight further titles with Fabio Capello, Jose Mourinho and Roberto Mancini at domestic level and helped France to World Cup and European Championship glory.
Having called time on his playing career in 2011 he went on to coach Manchester City’s reserve team before taking his current role in the United States. New York City FC is currently top of the MLS Eastern Conference after seven games.
The day before he announced he was leaving, Arsene Wenger had positive things to say about Vieira’s credentials.
“He’s a guy who has the potential one day, yes,” he told press ahead of the West Ham game.
“He works in the moment in New York and he works for Man City. I’ve followed his managerial career. I think he does very well. But overall, after that, this Premier League is special, you know.
“You have to come in. There are plenty of former players who played here who have potential and the intelligence and the knowledge to do it. So there’s plenty of choice, don’t worry about that.”
Other names that have been mentioned as possible Wenger successors include Carlo Ancelotti, Massimiliano Allegri, Thomas Tuchel, Mikel Arteta, Luis Enrique and Joachim Loew. We’re not mentioning the fella at Celtic because that makes us do a bit of sick in our mouth.