Patrick Vieira has admitted that he is annoyed that he was never given the chance to become a coach at Arsenal when deciding to hang up his playing boots.
The former Gunners captain was allowed to leave the club to join Juventus, which was later revealed as decided because the progression of Cesc Fabregas was more important to the club at the time.
Wenger previously revealed: ‘When Cesc Fabregas was 18, 19, I would play him in a 4-4-2 with Patrick Vieira and I saw it did not work. Then I had the decision to make about letting Patrick go, because Gilberto Silva and Vieira worked, Fabregas and Silva worked, but I could not play Fabregas and Vieira. But Fabregas was 19 and if he did not play I knew he would want to go, so we risked destroying everything, all the work we had put into this player.’
Vieira eventually returned to England when joining big-spending Manchester City, which may have angered his former French boss, and may have been one of the reasons why he was never asked to return to the Emirates when retiring from playing.
Patrick has now revealed that it is Arsenal that still holds his heart, and his one regret is at not having had the chance to learn from his former boss, who got the most out of him from his nine years spent in North-London.
Vieira said: ‘It’s true that after spending nine years at Arsenal, it’s the club of my heart – the one where I played my best football – I would have liked if the door was more open to me or other players who spent time there and who would have wanted to learn their career as a coach.
‘Unfortunately, that’s not the case. I was lucky to arrive at Manchester City at the right moment, but it’s true that it leaves a little disappointment with regards to Arsenal.
‘I don’t think that [myself, Thierry Henry or others] have the ambition to claim the spotlight at Arsenal, because it’s not possible. Things must be done naturally.
‘I don’t know the demands of everyone, but in my case I just expected a call to ask me if I would go and learn my craft at Arsenal – without taking the place of the U21 or U19 coach, because they are good at their job.’
The former midfielder is currently plying his trade in the MLS, and as manager led his side New York City team to finish second last term to secure a place in the play-offs.
Did Vieira’s switch to Man City ultimately end any chance he could have had at coming back to Arsenal? Or maybe Wenger didn’t see how he could accommodate him within his current team of coaching staff?