When, as a footballer, your career takes you to some of the world’s most prestigious clubs to be managed by some of the greatest managers in the game, you learn a lot.
A lot of the time, being around such inspirational characters, and seeing them work on a daily basis, helps you decide whether or not you want to give coaching a try once your playing days come to an end.
Unless you’re Patrick Vieira.
The current New York City FC manager was talking to France Football this week about his path to, and first experiences in, management.
The Arsenal legend explained that, for him, the management bug came when he started spending time with some of the young players in Manchester City’s academy, and that’s how it all started.
Of course, now bitten, he hasn’t looked back since, and even tries to draw a bit from each of the managers who taught him so much as a player.
He said: “I’m inspired especially from those who have the same vision as me when it comes to the team spirit and the style of play. Mourinho impressed me because he had no qualms. For him, it’s ‘I decide what’s best for the team’. No emotion. That’s a real strength.
“Arsène is a bit more clam, composed, diplomatic. For me, I try and use what sticks to me personality. The worst thing to do would be to try and be a bit Mourinho, a bit Wenger, a bit Capello, because the player knows when you’re not being yourself, and after that, it’s hard to keep it up.”
Vieira also revealed he would, once the MLS season comes to an end, ask Pep Guardiola if he could shadow him to see how the current Manchester City manager works, and would try and do the same with other managers he likes, like Jürgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel.
One can never learn too much.