Patrick Vieira claims ex-Premier League manager had bigger influence on career than Man City’s Pep Guardiola

Patrick Vieira has said Arsene Wenger had a bigger influence on his coaching career than Pep Guardiola.Patrick Vieira has said Arsene Wenger had a bigger influence on his coaching career than Pep Guardiola.
Patrick Vieira has said Arsene Wenger had a bigger influence on his coaching career than Pep Guardiola. | AFP via Getty Images
The ex-Arsenal captain also said Crystal Palace made the right decision to sack him last year.

Patrick Vieira has claimed Arsene Wenger has had a bigger impact on his coaching career than Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

The ex-Arsenal captain spent a week working alongside Guardiola during his time in charge at Bayern Munich, and the pair have a close relationship. Vieira also drew some advice and knowledge during his time as the manager of New York City, a sister club of City.

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But in a career that saw the 1998 World Cup winner work under Jose Mourinho and Fabio Capello, he said Wenger was his biggest influence - perhaps unsurprisingly given the pair worked together at Arsenal for nearly a decade.

“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. It would be impossible to try to play like Pep. He has the quality players to do it,” the 47-year-old reflected on his time at the Gunners, during the latest episode of the Stick to Football podcast.

“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,” he continued. “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. 

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

Vieira is currently manager of Ligue 1 side Strasbourg following Crystal Palace’s decision to part ways in March 2023. The Frenchman said he hopes to one day return to the Premier League as a manager, and added he understands why Palace decided to sack him.

“I would love to go back to the Premier League. It is the best league,” he said. “It’s where you have the best coaches, the best players and it’s the most entertaining league. I would love to go back to the Premier League one day.

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“The aim would be to manage one of the teams I used to play for, to play Champions League football and try to win a title. That is my aim and drive,” added the former Arsenal and City star.

“It was the right time to get rid of me [at Crystal Palace] because of the remaining games we had left,” he continued. “If you change the manager, people will say that they made the right decision because the games left. When you manage to win those games, it will make people feel like it was the right decision.

“I believe that for what they [Crystal Palace] wanted to do, they did it at the right time, regarding the remaining games left. So, that will give them the credibility from the people outside the club, and that was difficult for me to accept.”

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