Vieira wasn’t too controversial, but because what the Frenchman said, about former players not getting a chance to influence coaching at Arsenal, struck a chord with many it snowballed into a big story.
That’s not what Vieira wanted and, during a lengthy interview with L’Equipe for their Tuesday edition, it’s telling that neither Arsenal or Wenger were mnetioned until the very end.
Drawing the chat to an end, L’Equipe put it to Vieira that there was a quesiton coming he may not like, which could suggest he’d said he’d rather not speak about it.
Vieira took it well, laughed, and L’Equipe jumped in: “You did not really want to return to this subject but recently you mentioned, in a press conference, the situation of Arsenal, where you played for nine years, and the fact that Arsene Wenger leaves little space for former players of the club.”
The former midfielder replied by first saying the last time he spoke it got out of hand: “The way it came out was a little huge. What I actually said is that yes, at the end of my career, I was a little disappointed not to have had a call to say: “You cannot come back to coach, but to find your way.”
“This is Manchester City who gave me this opportunity after I arrived there late in my career, I haven’t played much (for City), and it was a little difficult to understand. But with time I can understand things better.”
Despite seeming stung by how the situation blew up last time, and that his quotes became a huge deal, Vieira continued to explained his point: “Arsene has the right to think we don’t deserve it. He may think that we are not willing to train any team. This too, I can understand that. Anyway, I think there is always a way to open the doors if you feel like it.
“If I arrive, and I say: “I will lead the reserve, I will become the Arsene’s deputy,” no, it is not possible. If, however, I say: “May I come and have a little experience with coaching the under fifteens” and that it is not possible then I would have a little trouble to understand. But hey, the fact is that I’ve been very lucky in the end. I found myself in the right place at the right time.”
That right place for Vieira was at Manchester City, and currently the coach of City’s outpost in New York, Vieira sounds very happy with the club’s extended family.