I’m a great friend of Patrick Vieira, so perhaps I am biased, but with everything he has done at Manchester City and New York City FC, and considering the way he is regarded by fans of Arsenal, I would be very happy if the club decided to appoint him as the next manager.
I don’t know if that will happen, but I hope it does, for Patrick’s sake. I know he wants to come back to Europe to manage a team, and I guarantee that he loves Arsenal very much.
The last time we spoke together about his future, he was very grateful to be in the USA, but it’s a first step for him. One day he has to manage a big team in Europe or the Premier League – that’s what he’s working towards, that’s what he expects.
So if Arsenal decided to bring back Patrick, that would be a very good idea. But following Arsène is a huge task. Whoever comes in, it won’t be easy – they will be expected to return the club to the top of the league. The club has a big decision to make.
It’s not a coincidence that the announcement has been made now.
It’s a message to prospective replacements. The hardest decision for the board will be whether to take a big-name, experienced manager or to bring back a legend like Patrick – or Dennis Bergkamp, or Gio van Bronckhorst, for example. There are several former Arsenal players who are managers now.
It’s time for some of my former team-mates to step up and say they’re ready for it.