HANOVER, N.J. -- Patrick Vieira might well be the next head coach of English Premier League club Arsenal, the former French international a favorite to replace Arsène Wenger at the Emirates. The former French international has turned around New York City FC in MLS and has admirers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Among them is New York Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch, who is preparing for a Saturday derby with City FC at Red Bull Arena. It is clear that Marsch thinks Vieira to Arsenal would be a home run hire for the London club.
Marsch, a former MLS player who was an original when the league kicked off in 1996, holds an edge over Vieira the past two years in the derby but it is ever so slight. Last year, the Red Bulls knocked City out of the US Open Cup early on in the tournament but then only managed a draw from their three meetings in the league. Vieira, according to Marsch, has done a masterful job with City, a squad that balances big names such as David Villa along with some exciting young talent.
Vieira, who has played for Arsenal along with other clubs such as Manchester City (both Manchester City and their Yankee Stadium brethren are owned by City Football Group), is a bright and keen mind in the world’s sport. After some early learning moments over the past two years, he’s taken to the league and truly become one of MLS’ best managers.
Marsch told Metro New York on Tuesday that Vieira’s track record in MLS, including a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference last year, isn’t the only reason why Arsenal should be interested.
“Not just that, it’s his track record with Arsenal and I think his relationship with Wenger and his relationship with the club there. The hard thing to always figure out…how tightly is the relationship with Man City and how much is he earmarked for that job versus Arsenal? What’s in his future? Because he’s clearly a bright coach who has a bright future and has a big name that many people are aware,” Marsch told Metro.
“That’s why when there are jobs that pop up, his name often gets floated around whether that is the US National Team or any team in Europe or France. I think everyone knows that Patrick Vieira isn’t in MLS forever but when he’s been here, he’s had a really good impact in the league.”
Both teams are coming into Saturday’s Hudson River Derby with momentum.
City’s strong start to the season includes a 3-1 win over a very good FC Dallas side, a match played in the comfy confines of Yankee Stadium this past Sunday. The Red Bulls got a good result against the Western Conference as well, beating the LA Galaxy 3-2, surrendering a two-goal lead but clawing back for the full three points on the road.