Arsenal legend Vieira sacked as Nice manager following Europa League elimination

12:01 PM WAT 04/12/2020
Patrick Vieira Nice 2020
The former France international midfielder has left the Ligue 1 club after they were knocked out of Europe and with the club 11th in the table

Patrick Vieira has been sacked from his position as manager of Ligue 1 club Nice.

A club statement released on Friday morning said: "Having arrived at OGC Nice in the summer of 2018, Patrick Vieira is no longer the coach of OGC Nice as of today.

"In an interview after last night’s meeting, the Nice board informed Patrick Vieira of their decision to end their collaboration."

Nice have confirmed Adrien Ursea as interim manager for their trip to Reims in Ligue 1 this weekend.

Former Arsenal midfielder Vieira has departed Nice after two and a half years in charge, with the club having lost their previous five games in all competitions and been eliminated from the Europa League at the group stage.

The 44-year-old former France international had also been criticised by fans for Nice's uninspiring style of play, and he leaves the club, who are hoping to qualify for Europe again this season, 11th in the Ligue 1 table.

His last domestic game in charge saw Nice draw 1-1 with Dijon, currently bottom of Ligue 1, while Vieira's final match came on Thursday as they lost 3-2 to Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League, with a number of Nice fans protesting against his management outside the stadium before kick-off.

Vieira arrived at Nice in May 2018 having previously been in charge of MLS side New York City FC and having worked on the coaching staff at Manchester City following his retirement as a player.

In his two full seasons in charge of Nice, Vieira took the club to seventh and sixth in Ligue 1, earning Europa League qualification last season thanks in part to the French football campaign being ended early as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

During his playing days, Vieira was one of the most respected central midfielders in football, helping France win the 1998 World Cup on home soil and the European Championships two years later.

At club level, he is most closely associated with Arsenal where he played between 1996 and 2005. He won three Premier League titles, most notably being part of the Invincibles side which won the 2003-04 domestic league without losing a match.

Vieira was linked with the Arsenal manager's job both when Arsene Wenger and successor Unai Emery left the role, which is currently occupied by Mikel Arteta.