STONE COLD FRIDAY: The New Vieira, Just Like The Old Vieira

You know how rumours start. They’re innocuous, they gather pace and life of their own faster than Cyrus the Virus would infect it. In football, you have the added spice of a media driven industrial strength piston driving the rumour mill to fill in the columns and news cycles.

One establishment quotes some guy on a radio station speculating about something that has no legs. Two other media establishments quote the first one as a source. The first establishment quotes the other two media establishments as their source, and we have a ball game.

Last time Patrick Vieira was the subject of the rumour mill, it was Ian Wright who started the rumour on his Talk Sport Drive time show. Honestly, he was just musing about how nice it will be for Patrick Vieira to be re-signed by Arsenal.

Next thing you know, Arséne Wenger is answering questions in an official press conference about his plans to re-sign his former captain. I mean, Thierry Henry was back for a second wind, Mathieu Flamini – why not a power house (well, a senior footballing citizen by then) like Patrick Vieira?

It wasn’t a surprise that such a story developed a life of its own considering Arsenal have supposedly been trying to find a new Vieira since the fella left the club for the Old Lady of Turin.

Of Dictators and Succession Planning

You’ve seen the script. They name their successors. You think it’s a joke then – BOOM – it happens. To be honest, at this point in time, it matters not whether Arséne Wenger himself wants to have a hand in picking his successor. Any alternative to the current managerial situation has to be better than where we are. Many in the Gooniverse would love to see a dream team of former Arsenal superstars take the reigns of management at the helm of the club.

“Heart over head” I hear myself screaming. Remind me again what happened to Tony Adam’s managerial career? Last I heard he was coaching some team in Uzbekistan. Granted, not every former player can hack it. My sense is that you’ll actually struggle to find very good former players who are also good managers. Perhaps Joseph Guardiola is an exception.

The former players are mostly milking the pundit circuit, providing what they perceive is experienced analysis and wisdom. Thing is, if they were any good, they’d actually be managing a club out there. There’s a reason arm-chair managers are not in a real job. Piloting a simulator isn’t like the real deal with a 316 tonne aircraft 37,000 ft above sea level, hundreds of passengers and crew on board.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Wenger has some words of wisdom for his former captain and compatriot. “Yes, you would be great at managing Arsenal long-term, but you need a bit more experience in the fast lane of Premier League football”. Vieira has been coaching New York in the MLS since 2016, after his 2 year stint with the Under 23’s at Manchester City. True, the Premier League is a totally different beast, but who’s to say ‘Ole Paddy can’t hack it. The only way you’ll hack the Premier League is by managing in the Premier League.

My sense is that the issue at Arsenal isn’t the fact that we need a stellar A-lister to be manager. A good manager will become an A-lister. They need to surround themselves with a good effective team, and know how to get the best of any group of players.

Does Vieira still have the fire in his belly? I bet so. Does he still have that red card in him, that passion to get in the mix and that no-nonsense approach? I bet you he can still inspire players to fight for the team at whatever cost.

Most of all, you’d hope that he will drill that team ethic; that sense of responsibility; and that tenacity for his key players to stand up and be counted, grabbing a game by the scruff of the neck if necessary.

Vacancy? What Vacancy?

You can see the sign hanging off the double glass doors at Highbury House. Even one of Wenger’s minders at the press conference had to steer the media folks away from Patrick Vieira talks – Wenger in full flow talking about his compatriot. The minder quickly reminded the media that there is no managerial vacancy at Arsenal. And therein lies the problem, the fact that the suits at Highbury House are still very comfortable with the managerial disfunction.

We have no choice until the Board grows a new pair of brass ones to deal with the elephant in the room. When change comes,  Patrick Vieira must be given a chance to set out his stall. Of course they’ll say he’s currently employed by Man City to manage their US franchise, but hey – who ever stopped anyone for applying for a new job while they were still working their current one?

To be honest, I have no specific preference to who comes in next. Like many of you, I want a manager who will have the respect of players and fans; one who can weave a team into a solid playing unit, getting the best out of all the players; and one who has the determination and tactical nous to get Arsenal out of tight spots – grabbing 3 points where only one seemed available, grabbing a point where none seemed available; and pulling down the shutters and closing shop if the game has to be managed.

Have a great weekend good people.

113 thoughts on “STONE COLD FRIDAY: The New Vieira, Just Like The Old Vieira

  1. lari03 says:

    Hear Lee Dixon:
    “I said to Bouldie, ‘you’ve got to sort Bellerin out he’s doing my head in!

    “Why is he making runs ahead of the forwards when there’s no ball on?’

    Bouldie said ‘I’ve told him’. So i said ‘f****** tell him again!”

  2. C says:

    Interesting comments from Ivan:

    on personally wanting him to stay…
    I don’t want to get into all the discussions that went on. The decision is made. I think now it is time to honour him today. I see that and I am really heartened by what’s happening. And you will all see the power and unity of the club. Now, for me as chief executive and the team of people we have looking forward, we have to embark upon a process which we have not done – whatever is being said, we have not done that – because we would never do that. I don’t think it is in Arsenal’s values to do that behind the back of a great man like Arsene. Other clubs go out and conduct their managerial search for understandable reasons in that way. For us, there has been a conversation. Arsene has made his decision and now that process begins.

    on the send-off…
    We are working on plans and I think West Ham on Sunday will be a great atmosphere. Thursday [against Atletico Madrid] will be electric and I think the Burnley game on May 6 will be a send-off that the world will take notice of.


  3. Bill says:

    Amazing that the board had the cojones to do this. Making the announcement now instead of waiting for the end of this season is a good move for everyone involved. Hopefully nothing but good things for arsene the rest of this year and what ever the next few years bring for him. If he decides to manage another team I hope he does well. He desperately needs a change of scenery and a new challenge may be what he needs.

  4. Paul says:


    Not looking for a quick appointment, Ivan? Does that mean we get a new manager the day before next season starts?

  5. andy1886 says:


    Given the way we usually operate you could be right. Just as importantly I suspect that this means few if any shiny new signings. The new man will want to assess the squad before he starts rebuilding so given the short window it’ll probably be more or less the same team come August. If he’s any good though I’d expect he’ll get more out of them than Arsene has recently.

  6. C says:


    I actually think quite the opposite, I think we will most certainly have a new man in before the end of the season and he will already have thoughts on the squad given the appointments of Sanllehi and Mislintat already in place. Plus, lets be honest, even with a short window, business can and will get done all summer it might just not be able to be announced. I think one big thing that we will see is at least 1 possibly 2 in midfield and we could potentially see the back of both Jack and Ramsey.

    Me and my mate were having a bit of a chat today and the crazy thing is that Arsene backed the British Core to help bring glory back to Arsenal with Arsene running the show and you look now: Gibbs is at West Brom, Ox and Theo were sold, Jenks can’t get a match for a Championship side, Jack unfortunately can’t stay fit and his form has been inconsistent and signs look like he is out this summerk, Ramsey (see Jack) and Arsene is set to leave.

  7. C says:

    Congratulations to our U23’s for winning the PL2 title.

  8. Foetry says:

    What a day for this football club!. I can’t wait for the post tomorrow. I think the “2 x End of an era” posts from Yogi and Bob a few years back went a long way towards shaping these boards into “Wenger in/Wenger out kind of blog.

    What a ride it has been. Time for unity in the house please….and no matter what happens for the rest of this season I wish you well Arsene for the future👌

  9. YW says:

    The End of an Era post is set to go live at 7am tomorrow morning.

  10. Tennessee Arsenal says:

    I think it is entirely possible to recognize that something needs to come to an end and yet be really sad about it. I would like thank the minority of comments that have expressed a similar reaction to today’s news.

    Thank you, Arsene. Best wishes on what will surely be a tough transition.

  11. Freddo says:

    Looks like the board left Arsene alone in his study, with his faithful hound and a webley revolver on the table, and said: “The decision is yours, Arsene.”

  12. Foetry says:

    Well Mr YW …that would be the 3rd one on your blog in this decade if memory serves me right..Would make an interesting read I am sure

  13. Jonnygunner says:


    Recall about a month back– that from a marketing and PR perspective? I predicted that this would be the case– though the timing of the announcement was to be the week prior to the final PL home match versus Burnley on 5/5 (now on 5/6). The news to be made public likely the week of April 27th.

    Simply one week off.
    Smarmy twat🤨?



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