Patrick Vieira Says He Preferred Working with Jose Mourinho to Arsene Wenger

Mark PattersonUK Staff WriterJanuary 23, 2016

Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho, right, throws the ball in the air for Patrick Vieira, left, during their training session at Old Trafford Stadium, ahead of their Champions League second round second leg soccer match against Manchester United, Manchester, England, Tuesday, March 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
SCOTT HEPPELL/Associated Press

Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira has said that Jose Mourinho in fact had more influence on him than Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in an interview with Matt Dickinson of the Times.

The midfielder, who is now manager of New York City FC after a spell as Elite Development Squad manager at Manchester City, says the two years with Mourinho at Internazionale revealed a very different approach.

He chose Mourinho as manager of his dream XI because "He’s the manager who had more influence on me."

Vieira continued:

He was the one who impressed me most on his work ethic.

He knew everything about the opposition, the strength, weakness.

His detail was unbelievable - everything was so clear about what he wanted from each player.

I don’t know what happened at Chelsea but he always got the best out of his players.


Arsene is more concentrated on his own team — he gives freedom to players to express themselves. It’s a different style.

ALASTAIR GRANT/Associated Press

Many assumed that Vieira would be one of the former Gunners who would return to the Emirates under the tutelage of Wenger as he worked towards management, but in the same interview, he adds that he has never been approached to return:

I’ve never been contacted by anyone to manage or get involved with the club.

I was expecting something from them, but it didn’t come. It didn’t kill me.

He [Wenger] is a busy man. I didn’t speak to him in quite a long time.

Arsenal face Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.

[The Times, h/t the Sun]