Vieira preferred working with Mourinho over Wenger

Date published: Saturday 23rd January 2016 12:28

Patrick Vieira has said that he enjoyed working with Jose Mourinho over Arsene Wenger during his playing career.

Vieira had successful playing spells under both managers, with the French midfielder joining Arsenal in 1996 due to the influence of Wenger, who was to be installed as Bruce Rioch’s replacement at Highbury.

Vieira quickly became captain at the club, and won three Premier League title, four FA Cups and four Community Shields before leaving for Juventus in 2005.

Now New York City FC boss, Vieira spent just one year at Juventus before joining Inter Milan, where Mourinho was appointed manager in summer 2008.

Vieira won three Serie As and two Supercoppa Italianas at the San Siro before his departure, but the former Manchester City midfielder suggests that Mourinho was his preferred manager, not Wenger, despite spending just two years under the Portuguese.

Asked by The Times which manager he would pick to lead his dream XI, Vieira replied: “Jose. He’s the manager who had more influence on me. He knew everything about the opposition, the strength, weakness. His detail was unbelievable – everything was so clear about what he wanted from each player.

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

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

The 39-year-old also said he had not been contacted by Arsenal over a return to the club in a coaching capacity since he left over a decade ago.

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

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

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