Patrick Vieira has said that he’s ‘ready’ despite recently hinting he wasn’t as he continues to be linked with the Arsenal manager’s job.
Speaking to Goal, the Frenchman anticipated their line of questioning as they asked how he had improved as a manager during his time at New York City.
With a ‘wry smile’ on his face, Vieira said, “If the question is if I’m ready.
“Yes, I’m ready.”
This is in stark contrast to what he said recently.
“I’m always flattered to hear my name linked with different football clubs. That is good for your ego, I will say it,” he told New York radio station WNYE just a few days ago.
“Of course, spending nine years at Arsenal made this club really special for me because of the quality of time I had over there, the relationship I had with the fans.
“But of course, that is not enough to think of going there and coaching the team. I just enjoy myself and I’m happy where I am and we will see what will happen in the next couple years.”
Now, however, it seems he thinks it is enough.
Despite all the rumours, Arsenal have not yet got in touch with Patrick.
He continued, “Honestly, and seriously, no [Arsenal have not been in touch].
“Why not? I still have, of course, next year,” he added. “It’s going to be my contract at least until the end of the season. And then after that anything can happen, but I have a contract until the end of the season.”
Vieira’s contract with NYC ends in 2019 but the MLS season ends mid-October before the play-offs start and end with the MLS Cup at the start of December.
Vieira played for Arsenal 371 times, captaining the side during their unbeaten season. In total, he won three league titles and three FA Cups with Arsenal before moving on to Juventus after nine years in London.
Finishing his playing career at Manchester City, the former midfielder then took up a role as youth co-ordinator before becoming u21 manager and then signing for New York City as their manager.
It is the route of a man willing to put in the work to make himself the best manager he can be by learning the ropes from the bottom up, unlike Thierry Henry who seems quite happy to put himself forward for the Arsenal job despite not even being prepared to quit punditry to learn how to coach at Arsenal.
Vieira has managed 82 NYC matches, averaging 1.62 points per game. They lost their most recent game in the most Arsenal of fashions, dominating possession but conceding three goals without reply.
Pep Guardiola, meanwhile, also believes that Vieira is ready to take over at Arsenal.
The City manager said, “Of course, he is ready. He is already a top manager.
“With what has happened there will be a lot of names there, Arsenal will take the best decision for them.
“But I think all the names will get mentioned and all of them are ready.”
With Vieira not really available until mid-October at the earliest, it’s hard not to see the parallels with Arsene Wenger’s appointment.
Arsenal put Stewart Houston and then Pat Rice in charge until the Frenchman arrived at the club to take charge of his first game on 12 October.
With Mikel Arteta also being linked with the job, would it be beyond the realms for Arsenal to bring him in as assistant manager to hold down the fort until Vieira’s arrival later in the season?
“When your name is linked with big teams in Europe it’s good. That just shows that people are following what you’re doing and you’re doing a good job,” Vieira continued.
“I’m really pleased with that. What is important for me is to focus and concentrate about what I’m doing at the moment. My head and my mind and my energy is on how to win the next game.”