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Patrick Vieira picks Jose Mourinho over Arsene Wenger as manager who impressed him the most

Anuj Gowda
2.20K   //    23 Jan 2016, 16:08 IST
Vieira was one of the best midfielders ever to grace the Premier League

Patrick Vieira, former Arsenal legend has certainly sprung a surprise as he picked Jose Mourinho over Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as the manager who had influenced him the most during his illustrious player career. The Frenchman identified work ethic as Mourinho’s biggest attribute and called his attention to detail ‘unbelievable’.

Vieira spent nine glorious years(1996-2005) at the club under Arsene Wenger. Having played 279 games for the Gunners, the former Arsenal captain won an incredible three Premier League titles and four FA Cups. The former midfield general was also an integral part of Wenger’s ‘invincibles’ who went an entire Premier League campaign(2003-2004) undefeated which is unprecedented so far.

However, it was interesting to see the former midfield general pick Mourinho ahead of his countryman as the best manager he had played under. Vieira played under the Portuguese tactician at the San Siro with Inter Milan for a relatively brief period of 18 months before moving to Manchester City in 2010.

But he was quick in naming the former Real Madrid and Chelsea boss as his choice. He also praised Mourinho’s managerial abilities and his tactical acumen.

"Jose. He’s the manager who had more influence on me.” [Mourinho] was the one who impressed me most on his work ethic," he said. 

“He knew everything about the opposition, the strength, weakness. His detail was unbelievable - everything was so clear about what he wanted from each player."

The former French International also expressed his shock at Mourinho’s dismal and appalling run with Chelsea earlier this season which led the club to sack him after just seven months of leading to the Premier League title. 

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

Giving his assessment of Wenger, Vieira called his methods a 'different style' and also suggested that Wenger concentrated more on his team.    

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

Wenger is a busy man: Vieira

Vieira who is a former World Cup and UEFA Euro winner with the France national team is currently the head coach of MLS franchise New York City FC. Prior to his current assignment, the Frenchman signed on as Football Development Executive at the Etihad after he hung up his boots in 2011.

However, it was quite surprising that the Gunner’s establishment failed to offer their club legend a role which associated him with the club post his retirement back in the day which invited a fair amount of criticism among fans. The midfielder himself revealed that he had expected a call from the club representatives which never came. He also added that the apparent snub by his former club never got him down. 

"I’ve never been contacted by anyone to manage or get involved with the club," he explained.  "I was expecting something from them, but it didn’t come. It didn’t kill me.”

The 39-year-old also appeared to take a dig at his former manager as he quipped that it had been too long since he had spoken with Wenger and called him a ‘busy’ man.

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

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