Vieira labels Arsenal job ‘very complicated’ amid links to position

Nice coach Patrick Vieira discussed talk he could take over at Arsenal.

Patrick Vieira played down talk he could take over at Arsenal as the Nice coach labelled it a “very complicated job”.

Unai Emery was sacked as Arsenal head coach on Friday amid a seven-match winless run for the Premier League club.

Vieira – an Arsenal great – has been one of the names mentioned to potentially take charge at the Emirates Stadium, but the Nice coach played down the reports.

“There are things I don’t control, people who say a lot of stuff, which is true or not true,” he told a news conference after Nice’s 3-1 Ligue 1 win over Angers on Saturday.

“I didn’t say anything, I didn’t say anything about that. I’m like you, I read, I look, I hear things, and that’s it.”

Vieira, whose Nice side are 11th in Ligue 1, said the position at Arsenal shaped as a tough one for Emery’s successor.

“It’s a very complicated job, I realise that,” he said. “I support Emery, it’s always sad to see a coach losing his job.

“Today it’s him, tomorrow it might be me, but as soon as you decide to start in this job, you have to expect to be fired at some point.”

Vieira spent nine seasons at Arsenal as a player, winning three Premier League titles and three FA Cups.

After retiring in 2011, Vieira took up a role as a coach in Manchester City’s academy and worked his way through the ranks to become the club’s reserve team and Elite Development squad manager.

Vieira’s first foray into first-time management came with MLS side New York City FC, where he took charge ahead of the 2016 season.

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After two and a half successful seasons in the North American top flight, Vieira returned to his native France to take over Nice in July 2018.

Vieira’s former team-mate in north London, Freddie Ljungberg, has been named interim coach of Arsenal, and will make his debut at the helm when the Gunners visit Norwich City on Sunday.

In addition to Vieira, other candidates tipped to take over Arsenal include Massimiliano Allegri, Mauricio Pochettino, Mikel Arteta and Nuno Espirito Santo.

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