The former Arsenal midfield dynamo was linked to any number of big jobs – so what made him choose New York City FC?
Patrick Vieira has gone some way to explaining why he decided to step into the role of Head Coach at New York City FC
The current head coach of Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad has put pen to paper on a three-year contract with the Major League Soccer franchise, taking over from Jason Kreis, who was relieved of his duties earlier this month.
A title winner with Arsenal and Juventus during his playing days, as well as being part of the France squad that won the 1998 World Cup and European Championships two years later, Vieira has long been tipped for big things in the world of management.
German news source Bild previously claimed that Bayern Munich had been keeping a close eye on the Frenchman, for instance, with a view to recruiting the ex-Gunner as a youth team coach.
But with Vieira evidently keen to remain part of the Manchester City setup – the Sky Blues and NYCFC share the same owners – a move across the Atlantic represented the perfect stepping-stone for the budding manager.
Speaking at his official unveiling, the 39-year-old outlined some of the decisive factors behind the New York move, with Vieira due to step into the role in January 2016:
“To work with this squad, with Claudio Reyna and Rob Vartughian and the fantastic support team that is in place, is an exciting prospect for any coach,” he said.
“This established football set up, together with a passionate and loyal fan base, located in a special city which I know well, makes for an unparalleled opportunity that I am delighted to seize with both hands.”
Vieira faces quite the challenge though with New York City suffering defeat in 17 of the 34 MLS fixtures they played this season.
A record of just 10 wins and seven draws was not enough to secure a play-off spot, despite an impressive return of 18 goals from David Villa.
Yet with the Frenchman likely to look to Manchester City’s reserves and youth prospects for signings ahead of the season to come, things could yet turn around very quickly for one of the US soccer’s newest franchises.
Thrive at New York City and there may just be an even bigger job awaiting him one day at the Etihad.