October 24, 2016
Vieira sounds like he wants to stay and build on this season with NYC FC
By Michael Lewis
Patrick Vieira: "I strongly believe in the next few years with the way we’re going to work, this team will be even stronger.”
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BRONX -- Hmmm. Sounds as if Patrick Vieira wants to stay for a while.
Last month the New York City FC head coach was quoted by ESPNFC.com last month that he could be tempted to coach a team in his native France.
"Some time ago, I talked to some French clubs. Very good clubs," Vieira was quoted by the website. "Unfortunately, for various reasons, it didn't work out. But there are some very interesting projects in France.
But after City's 4-1 victory over the Columbus Crew at Yankee Stadium Sunday night, the 1988 World Cup winner indicated that he wanted to build on this season.
Vieira took control of an expansion team that finished 10-17-7 and out of the playoffs and transformed it into one of the most respected sides in Major League Soccer. The Blues finished 15-10-9 and in second place behind the Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference with the team's first ever playoff game looming at an opponent to be determined, Sunday.
Answering a question from yours truly about what he felt his team needed to improve, Vieira replied:
“We still have a lot of parts of our game that we need to improve. We had a few injuries during the season, so our back four has been moving a lot. We haven’t had the stability that I was looking for. We improved, and I think there is a better understanding from the players individually what is their role and responsibility. And when players understand that and make it work for the team, it becomes a little bit easier. And I think today we looked quite really solid. Maxime [Chanot] and Fred [Brillant] from the back had a really good understanding and I strongly believe in the next few years with the way we’re going to work, this team will be even stronger.”
Hmmm. Sounds like he is planning to stick around, huh? (I certainly would not begrudge Vieira if he found himself with a fantastic opportunity in either France or England and take the plunge across the pond).
Good news for NYC FC, given his audacious tactical innovations (at least for MLS) that he applied this season). Perhaps not so good news for the rest of the league.