Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira has taken a surprising dig at former coach Arsene Wenger, saying his arch rival Jose Mourinho had a bigger influence on his career.
Mourinho and Wenger are known not to get on, with the Portuguese once calling Wenger a “specialist in failure”.
And Vieira, who captained Wenger’s historic ‘Invincible’ Arsenal side in 2004, says that Mourinho, whom he was coached by at Inter Milan in the later stages of his career, was a manager more concerned by how his individual players felt, rather than the team as a whole.
Although the ex-midfielder’s stint at the San Siro was brief, Mourinho’s methods seem to have had a profound impact on Vieira, who was recently appointed boss of New York City FC.
In an interview with The Times, the French World Cup winner said when asked to pick between the two managers:
“Jose. He’s the manager who had more influence on me.
“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 took the reins in The Big Apple last November, despite speculation he could be offered a coaching role at the Emirates Stadium.
Vieira is adamant he has never been approached by the north Londoners but did hint he would have been willing to work for the Gunners.
He added: “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.”
What do you think of Vieira’s comments on Wenger and Mourinho?