Patrick Vieira’s Managerial Inspiration

Patrick Vieira’s Managerial Inspiration

Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira has revealed that Arsene Wenger has had a bigger impact on him as a manager than Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho.  

The Frenchman captained the Gunners in their historic unbeaten 2003-04 league campaign during a phenomenal nine-year stay at the club. 

In total, Vieira won three top-flight titles and four FA Cups during his time in north London under his compatriot, a period in which he established himself as one of the greatest midfielders in Premier League history. 

Following his retirement in 2011, Vieira quickly transitioned into management and has enjoyed successful spells with the likes of Nice and Crystal Palace. He revealed that Wenger’s approach to coaching has been most instructive in his own coaching career.   

‘When you look at Pep Guardiola and what he achieved, those trophies he won and the players that he had, we don’t have those players.’ The 47-year-old said on The Overlap, brought to you by Sky Bet. ‘It would be impossible to try to play like Pep. He has the quality players to do it.

Patrick Vieira revealed that his former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has had the biggest influence on his as a head coach

The midfielder spent nine years in North London under his compatriot and won a host of trophies including three Premier League titles

The midfielder spent nine years in North London under his compatriot and won a host of trophies including three Premier League titles

‘I would say Arsene [Wenger, who has influenced me the most]. I spent nine years with Arsene as a manager, and the way that he was coaching and connecting himself with the players, I would say he is the manager who has the most influence on me today as a manager.’

‘It’s about the confidence and self-belief that he has on the players, especially young players. You make mistakes and he doesn’t take that trust away – he’s a really good communicator. He always managed to find the right words to push you – he’s never negative.’

Despite never directly working under Guardiola, Vieira has managed a side in the City Football Group – a staple of clubs molded by the image of the Spaniard’s footballing philosophy. 

The World Cup winner spent two years as coach of the Manchester City Elite Development Squad after spending the final season of his playing career at the Etihad. 

Once his three-and-a-half year association with the Manchester club had come to an close, he moved to MLS side New York City, where he managed for two seasons before returning to France with Nice in 2018. 

Vieira also opened up on how Wenger compared as a manager to his former – and perhaps still current – foe Mourinho. The Portuguese boss found Vieira as part of the Inter Milan squad he inherited in 2008, a year on from his first Chelsea exit. 

Their time at the San Siro was not short of success, with the side claiming three Serie A titles and the Italian Cup. Inter famously went on to lift the Champions League in 2010, however, Vieira had departed for City in the January of that season. 

He stressed that Mourinho’s ruthlessness sets him apart from Wenger but conceded the approach was necessary to ‘be at the top.’

‘On the other side, I had Jose Mourinho as a coach when I was at Inter, and he was ruthless – it’s about competition and winning.’ He added. ‘I took some of that as well – if you want to win, you need a bit of ruthlessness to make decisions about performances. 

‘With Arsene, you could play one or two games not at your best and he will start you the next game. With Mourinho, if you’re not playing well the first game, the second game you won’t end up going to play. 

The 47-year-old spent two seasons as Man City's reserve team manager before coaching the Cityzens' sister team, New York City, when Pep Guardiola was at the Etihad

The 47-year-old spent two seasons as Man City’s reserve team manager before coaching the Cityzens’ sister team, New York City, when Pep Guardiola was at the Etihad

Vieira also worked under Jose Mourinho for two-and-a-half seasons during his time in Italy with Inter Milan

Vieira also worked under Jose Mourinho for two-and-a-half seasons during his time in Italy with Inter Milan

‘You are under pressure to perform, which I think is important to be at the top – it’s about the competition.’

Vieira is currently the head coach of Ligue 1 side Strasbourg, who he led to a 13th-place finish in the debut season at the club. 

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