Football News

Wenger favourite Patrick Vieira has one eye Emery’s Arsenal job – but an ex-teammate may be first in line

By Steve Jennings

Published: 22:28, 15 October 2019

Former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira has expressed his desire to one day manage his former club after receiving praise from Arsene Wenger.

Vieira is currently in charge of French side Nice but says his aim is to manage a club competing in the Champions League in the future.

What has Vieira achieved as a manager? Five things to know…

  • Vieira retired from playing in 2011 following a short spell with Man City.
  • The Frenchman took up a youth development role at the Etihad.
  • In 2016, he became manager of MLS side New York City FC.
  • After two years in America, he returned to France to manage Nice.
  • Vieira remains at Nice and guided the club to a seventh-place finish last season.

The Frenchman, who won three Premier League titles and three FA Cups as a player in England, was linked with the vacant Arsenal job when Wenger left the club in 2018.

And Vieira says he still has hopes of taking over at the Emirates if the opportunity presents itself in the future.

Asked about one day managing Arsenal, he said: “Yes, like any player, when we do this job we want to touch the very highest level.

“But the very high level I can touch with Nice from the moment we give ourselves the means to succeed and from the moment the way which we work is quite consistent.

“But we do this job, and I do this job, to one day to be the coach of a team that participates in the Champions League.”

Vieira went on to say it was “flattering” to hear recent praise from Wenger, while he is still in the relatively early days of his managerial career.

He added: “I’m really privileged to have worked under Arsene and him saying that is really flattering.

“If I manage Arsenal one day I will take him for dinner and I will pay the bill!

“He didn’t say it to put pressure (on me). It’s just flattering that the guy who spent over 20 years there thinks I have the quality to manage a big club like Arsenal one day.”

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Vieira’s ex-teammate may be first in line for Arsenal job

While Vieira is an obvious candidate to become Arsenal manager one day, one of his former teammates may actually be first in line to take over from Unai Emery if and when the Spaniard leaves.

According to reliable journalist David Ornstein, Freddie Ljungberg – who became a part of Emery’s coaching staff in the summer – would take temporary charge if anything happened with Emery.

Answering a question in a Q&A for the Athletic, Ornstein said: “Freddie is highly-rated by the players and staff, and the logical feeling is he would take temporary charge if anything happened with Emery.

“He has ‘number one’ ambitions of his own and won’t hang around somewhere for too long if he doesn’t think the opportunity will come.”

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