Former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira has revealed that Arsene Wenger was the reason behind his decision to follow a career in coaching.
Speaking to ESPN FC, the Frenchman discussed his hopes for the future after being appointed head coach of New York City FC following a stint in charge of youth development at Manchester City.
The move is seen as part of a process to one day perhaps take the reins at the Etihad Stadium, with the opportunity providing Vieira with a chance to gain experience and further knowledge from the bench.
However, despite late claims that the Gunners may look to bring him back to north London in order to groom him into Wenger’s successor, as reported by The Mirror last month, it is unlikely that he will drift away from his current path any time soon.
Vieira spent nine years at Arsenal and captained the side that went unbeaten in the 2004 season, and naturally he has established himself as a club legend after forming an integral part of their success.
While he did insist that the likes of Jose Mourinho and Fabio Capello amongst others also had a huge impact on his decision to coach, as noted by ESPN, it was his spell under Wenger that really motivated him to do so.
The Gunners will arguably see it as a missed opportunity as the 39-year-old was given a role at City at a time when they perhaps should have made their offer to secure his return to the club.
Instead, Vieira will now hope to enjoy a successful tenure in New York and MLS, which in turn could set him up for a place on the City bench in the coming years.
Manuel Pellegrini is undoubtedly safe in his position at this time given his side are top of the Premier League table and look likely to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League. As a result, there is no pressure or timetable on Vieira to return as he works with the likes of Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo in securing results in his new role on the sidelines.