Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira has become the head coach of Ligue One side Nice. The former Gunners star had previously spent two and a half years as head coach of MLS franchise New York City FC. Vieira’s contract in the Big Apple was due to expire in November, so he has made the move back to Europe.
Received a phone call from Arsenal
Vieira reportedly received a phone call from Arsenal to tell him that he was not set to replace outgoing Gunners Arsene Wenger this summer, with Unai Emery replacing the veteran French boss instead. The Frenchman is believed to have been disappointed at the so-called ‘token gesture’.
Vieira was touted as a possible replacement for Wenger by many in the media. In fact, Wenger himself was quoted as saying that Vieira would have made a good replacement when he departed.
Nice a good place to start in European coaching
Nice is a good place for Vieira to start his coaching career in European football. The MLS is worlds away from Europe’s top leagues, including Ligue One I would imagine in how things are done.
Last season Les Aiglons finished eighth in a strong Ligue One, where the likes of Monaco, Lyon and Marseille all enjoyed very strong league campaigns behind big-spending campaigns PSG.
It looks like the ideal sort of starter job in European football, a decent club with passionate fans, who speak his native tongue. It is also a job out of the glare of the British media, just like his job in the USA.
Vieira is slowly but surely building up his coaching career. He is learning the managerial ropes and developing his own style as a boss. The Frenchman did a good job in New York and left the team in good shape to qualify for the play-offs.
Could manage Arsenal one day
Despite Vieira’s disappointment at the club for their ‘token gesture’, I am sure that the Frenchman will be keen on a return to north London one day as the clubs head coach.
A couple of years in France cutting his teeth as a boss will certainly improve his managerial skills. From the early signs of his coaching career, Vieira may just have what it takes to become a great boss as well as a player.
For now, he is the Nice boss. However, who knows what holds for the former Arsenal skipper.
Will Patrick Vieira be a success at Nice?