Patrick Vieira has once again said he’d like to manage Arsenal ‘one day’ with Arsene Wenger backing his ability to do the role.
Speaking in an interview with Canal Football Club, Patrick Vieira said, “I think that everyday you dream of managing the team where you once played. I spent time at Inter with Olivier (Dacourt) and it is a club that I really like a lot. Arsenal is also a club where I maybe played my best football. Becoming the manager of Arsenal one day, why not?”
Arsene Wenger then added, “I see him more as Arsenal manager one day (than as the French national team coach). Because he is too young to go directly into a national team. I think that his life will be spent on the club side.”
Vieira was one of a number of names mentioned to replace Arsene Wenger before Unai Emery was ultimately given the nod.
Speaking to the Times in June, Vieira revealed he was one of the candidates on the initial list Ivan Gazidis, Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi drew up.
“Their executives met through a process which included a conversation with me but it didn’t go any further,” he admitted. “I have been allowed to grow as a coach and gain valuable experience. That has helped me become much more clear in my approach, my vision of football.”
From the sounds of things, Vieira didn’t make the final shortlist and get the chance to make a presentation and speak in more depth about the job. However, Arsenal did at least consider bringing their former player back as a manager.
After leaving the Gunners in 2005, Vieira played for three different clubs before retiring. He then managed the Manchester City Reserves, followed by New York City FC. Now he’s closing in on the top job at Nice, in Ligue 1, with the club ‘increasingly confident’ he’ll take over.
Realistically though, his managerial career is still a bit young for Arsenal. He has hardly any experience at the top level in any of Europe’s top-five leagues, even as an assistant. It was always going to be hard to make a case for someone like that taking over from Arsene Wenger.