By Larry Fine
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Patrick Vieira has learnt from some of soccer’s top coaches during an outstanding playing career, but the former France international says he will forge his own identity as new man in charge at New York City FC.
Vieira, who earned 107 caps for France and was a member of the team which won the 1998 World Cup and European Championship two years later, was introduced as NYCFC’s new head coach at a news conference at the club’s Yankee Stadium home on Wednesday.
“I was very lucky in my career because I played under some fantastic coaches and of course I take a little bit from some of them,” said Vieira, who takes over from Jason Kries, who was fired after failing to make the playoffs in their debut Major League Soccer season.
“But I want the team to reflect my personality as a person as well.”
The former midfielder, who also won three Premier League titles with Arsenal and four Serie A crowns with Inter Milan and Juventus, has been working with the development squad of NYCFC’s parent club Manchester City before taking the MLS post.
NYCFC’s Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said his new coach has instant credibility.
Reyna said the club needed “a great leader, someone who commands respect. We have instantly with Patrick the presence of that as soon as he walks into a room.
“The ability to communicate with big players … as well as having a commitment to developing younger ones, and all those boxes he ticked, (plus) his desire to succeed and his confidence without being arrogant.
“He’s absolutely more than ready.”
Vieira spoke of attributes he has admired in coaches.
“I liked (Inter Milan’s Roberto) Mancini’s passion and desire he was showing when he was on the bench,” he said.
“Something I really like about (Inter’s Jose) Mourinho is preparation before the game. He was giving players keys, information about the strengths and weakness of the opposition.
“I quite like (Arsenal’s) Arsene Wenger with the freedoms he gave the players to express themselves on the field.”
After an eighth-place conference finish at 10-7-17 last season, Vieira made no predictions for the upcoming campaign but understands expectations on a team that features Spanish international striker David Villa, Italian midfielder World Cup winner Andrea Pirlo and former England and Chelsea great Frank Lampard.
“We’re in an industry where results matter,” he said. “It is really important for us to win games, to win trophies because people judge you by what you won.
“What is important for me is to give a proper identity to the team,” he added. “I would like to see the team reflecting what New York is all about.
“I will want my team to be full of energy, to be lively and to have a really positive attitude.”
(Editing by Steve Keating.)