Arsenal favourite slams Invincibles captain Vieira

Ian Wright has come out to name Arsenal Invincibles captain Patrick Vieira down in sixth place on his all-time best Premier League captains, shocking a number of fans in the mean-time.

On the pitch, Vieira was always seen as a big motivater, but behind the scenes, things were supposedly not the same.

Ian Wright has always been an Arsenal favourite at the club, with his amazing performances for us in the 90s, and has remained in high standing due to his charisma and banter as seen on TV regularly.

It turns out he was never Vieira’s biggest fan however, although that wasn’t down to his footballing ability…

Arsene Wenger brought the central midfielder to the club from AC Milan, where he had spent a season mostly in their reserves, but he is said to have refused to integrate with the English contingent, opting to isolate himself with his French counterparts off the pitch.

Wright revealed: ‘He never captained me. I was in and around him and saw how he was emerging as a captain, you could see – it was blatantly obvious.’

He added: ‘Sometimes Patrick would come in and he wouldn’t even talk to you. You can’t do that as a captain – he’d blank you!’

Asked why, Wright continued: ‘Can I be totally honest? With the French guys, I remember Tony [Adams] used to have to sometimes literally [tell them to speak]…

‘You know you say “good morning” to the guys – literally you’d say “morning” and they’d just walk past you. Bam, blank you, all of them, just blank you.

‘They just wouldn’t speak. Nicolas Anelka, Manu Petit, they’re all the same.’

After Gary Lineker probed whether they were very cliquey, Wright explained: ‘Yeah they were just together I think because they were all French.

We hear a lot today about unrest in the dressing room as a reason for struggles on the pitch, but it seems as though any rifts back then were left in the dressing room, as this team was highly successful.

Is too much made of ‘dressing room unrest’ nowadays? Is it possible to have big divides nowadays and still succeed on the pitch?


Tags Ian Wright Patrick Vieira


  1. An interesting topic this one! Vastly different cultures are behind it. As a frequent visitor to France, esp in the 1980/90’s, I see very clearly how very culturally different the French are from the English. English folk are categorised as reserved and in the past there was “germ of truth”, in general but only in general, and not MANY “germs of truth”.
    In todays world, English folk are not reserved at all and mostly that is because of new technology, new social attitudes and their effect . But despite France having that same technology, I perceive a deep rooted arrogance in a l large number of French folk , by comparison to many other countries and also to Brits.
    I have long noted how French players would not smile nor look happy when scoring but would strut with a “look at me gesture”. Though this became widely aped by many other scorers, Wright, included, there is a clear difference betwen apeing something because you consider it looks “cool” and doing it naturally because you have a self superior attitude.

    Witness Cantona, Pogba and even Petit as prime examples of this posing, strut body language. It began in earnest with French players and inevitably , caught on and spread when it became the “cool” thing to do.

    Skilled human watchers will always more easily warm to a player who wears his heart on his sleeve and smiles,NOT poses or scowls, when he scores. It cannot be denied that in the French culture, embedded too, is a sort of “I am superior to you” attitude and those who try to deny this or do not accept it are our of touch with reality.
    I BELIEVE WRIGHT IN HIS STATEMENT. WHY? Because I open my eyes and ears!

  2. There is no reason to disbelieve him, why would he say it if he didn’t think it?

    On the other hand, of course, this is one side of the coin and we do not know what Patrick’s version of events are.

    He has never come across as arrogant to me and anyone who has watched his time with keane, discussing their personal rivalry, surely saw a gentle, well presented and clever guy?

    We all know what a clown Wrighty can be, it’s part of his make up and we love him for it.
    Perhaps as captain, Vieria found it rather irritating and childish…but as the article pointed out, it never affected either of them when wearing our shirt – isn’t that what mattered?

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