Vieira: Managing Manchester City a “Fairy Tale”

MATT KREMKAU

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira told reporters at the UK publication The Telegraph that a chance to manage the Barclays Premier League side Manchester City would be a “fairy tale.”

“This is the fairy tale story,” said Vieira. “It doesn’t often happen like that. I don’t look further than next year because in our world anything can happen.”

The chaotic nature of managerial changes throughout the world strengthens Vieira’s mindset, especially following his appointment at NYCFC in 2016. The team’s inaugural manager Jason Kries took the team to a 17th place finish in 2015 — well out of contention for a playoff spot considering the amount of talent he was given. Vieira, a Manchester City academy coach at the time, stepped in and turned NYCFC’s luck, having them finish in second place in the Eastern Conference.

It was his structured and pragmatic approach that helped solidify a team in disarray after only one season.

“If it was DC or Atlanta I don’t know,” said Vieira about whether he would have managed another MLS team had the opportunity presented itself. “One of the reasons I chose New York was because I am still in the City Football Group. You have to choose the right club with the right people. That can have an impact when things aren’t going the right way – especially when you lose 7-0.”

The transition from European footballing life to the unusual structure in the United States has also presented challenges. Vieira has had trouble with rotating his squad due to the vicious traveling schedule and, at times, not receiving the star level treatment expected of high paid soccer players in other parts of the world.

“You have some people who recognize the players or coaching staff, but there are a lot of people who don’t have a clue, who look at us and ask, ‘what sport are you doing,'” said Vieira. “I don’t like to go into details. That’s not me.”

Vieira is back in Manchester for the annual CFG staff get-together. The meeting is made up of all teams under the City Football Group umbrella including Manchester City, NYCFC, Melbourne City FC and Yokohama F. Marinos. After absorbing information during the time back home, he will travel to Spain for a week with Sevilla manager Jorge Sampaoli, an Argentine coach who has had tremendous experience with the types of players Vieira currently has on his team.