Patrick Vieira interview: Man City can match Arsenal and Manchester United if they win the Champions League | OneFootball

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Evening Standard

·9 June 2023

Patrick Vieira interview: Man City can match Arsenal and Manchester United if they win the Champions League

Article image:Patrick Vieira interview: Man City can match Arsenal and Manchester United if they win the Champions League


atrick Vieira admits that Manchester City’s Champions League chasing side are on a par with Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’.

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The legendary Gunners midfielder, who recently managed Crystal Palace, was part of Arsene Wenger’s 2003/04 team which won the Premier League title while going unbeaten over 38 matches.

Pep Guardiola’s side lost four Premier League matches on their way to the title but could replicate the treble achievement Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side achieved during the 1998/99 season.

Vieira believes all three teams can all lay claim to being the greatest ever in the Premier League era, with little between them: “Winning the treble and going unbeaten for a season are both really difficult,” Vieira told Standard Sport.

“Many people believe Man United’s treble would never be matched but now City are close. It would be an unbelievable achievement for City just as it was for United, they are up there with the best.

“I think the Invincibles will also one day be matched. City are in the debate [for the greatest English team] with United’s 1999 treble team and my Invincibles.”

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal ran Guardiola’s side close in the Premier League title race but fell short in the final weeks of the season, dropping points at home to Southampton, Liverpool and Brighton.

There are fears that City, after beating Man United 2-1 in the FA Cup final, are becoming an unstoppable force in English football. Vieira acknowledges their greatness but thinks Arsenal can compete: “They have to be positive to build something out of this season and go even closer. I don’t think Arsenal did a lot wrong, City were just unstoppable.”

Arteta is just one of the coaches excelling in management after working with the City manager.

Xavi won LaLiga with Barcelona, while Vincent Kompany won the Championship with Burnley earning promotion to the Premier League. “It is like when a teacher makes you fall in love with maths, science or French,” Vieira added. If you want to do well, your teacher needs to make you fall in love with what you are learning. Pep does that well for his former players who fall in love with coaching.”

Vieira never played under Guardiola but did work within the City Football Group at New York City FC.

He also saw Guardiola’s methods up close at Bayern Munich, adding: “I spent a week with him. What struck me was his simplicity as a football manager.

“I was doing my badges and he invited me to his house to watch a game. We were sat there eating sushi and talking about football.

“We are speaking about one of the world’s greatest ever managers and he opened his door for me, invited me to his house and I felt that was a humble thing to do.”

The 46-year-old is in Istanbul discussing Expedia’s “Soundscape of being there” report. The survey has found that the loudest two atmospheres exist at Besiktas and Galatasaray in Turkish football and how 63 percent of Brits can recognise the iconic Champions League anthem within 2.4 seconds.

Vieira, who will be at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul watching his two favourite clubs, thinks the sounds and sights of such an occasion will inspire him in his search for his next managerial role.

“The noises, passion and feelings are part of why I love the game so much as a player and manager — there is no bigger stage than the Champions League final.”

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