Patrick Vieira claims to be entirely focused on the possibility of lifting MLS silverware with New York City this season and not any other managing job.
The Bronx Blues face Colombus in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semi-finals on Wednesday morning, making their second appearance in the American competition’s playoff series since the Arsenal veteran was appointed as coach in March 2016.
The success which New York have experienced under Vieira has led many observers to speculate he will soon takeover a club in Europe or even the USA national team, however, the Frenchman insists that it would be hard to find a team he enjoys coaching more.
“I am happy here,” he said in an interview with the Guardian.
“It is flattering…to be linked with different clubs around Europe but it is just journalist talk.
“I am doing what I love and am where I want to be. It was just speculation [regarding the USA job] and the best way to kill speculation is to be true and to be honest straight away and people will not talk about it anymore.”
Vieira spent the first few years of his career in the sidelines overseeing the youth at Manchester City, but feels he has markedly improved by dealing with the pressures of leading a senior team
“I am a better coach, I believe, than when I arrived,” he said.
“There are lots of different scenarios you are facing – you are reacting, anticipating, making different decisions and then you reflect on those – and you see if you made the right ones and that can be on or off the field.”
Many American fans would have undoubtedly wanted to see Vieira become coach of the USMNT in the wake of Bruce Arena’s sacking, yet the Gunners legend says that a patient approach is needed following their failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup rather than the complete rebuild some have think is necessary.
“[Failing to reach Russia 2018] is not a step back it is a short drama,” he added.
“When you look at what has happened in the past few years and how the game has developed in this country – they are producing players who are doing well in Europe… it is just a question of time. It will take time to produce players who can challenge for the World Cup.
“When you have a game and you just need a point [as USA did against Trinidad and Tobago but lost 2-1]…it can happen in our sport. I feel for the players – they will not be happy with the way they performed.”