'You're not a real coach until you get fired' – Wenger's advice revealed as Vieira targets swift return to management

Patrick Vieira Arsene Wenger Arsenal
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The former midfielder has been out of work since his dismissal last December, but says he will not be hasty when it comes to choosing his next project

Patrick Vieira has revealed that he spoke to former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger upon his exit from Nice last year, with the ex-Gunners star revealing that his old coach gave him shrewd advice on his managerial future.

The 44-year-old was handed the reins of the Ligue 1 outfit in mid-2018 following two and a half successful years at the helm of New York City FC, and led them to a seventh-place finish in his first season in charge.

But a poor start to the 2020-21 campaign, compounded by an early Europa League exit, saw Vieira relieved of his duties in December, with the 44-year-old now opening the lid on his activities since and what he has taken on-board from countryman Wenger.

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What has Vieira said?

"I had Arsene on the phone," Vieira revealed to L'Equipe. "One of the first sentences he said to me was: "You're never a real coach until you get fired."

"It was a very constructive discussion with Arsene - as it always is. When you get into this profession, you have to accept the idea that you will get fired at one point or another.

"I would have preferred it to have been a little later, but it happened, and what is important for me is that this experience has made me and will make me better as a coach. I am convinced this is what I was made for."

Vieira and Wenger's relationship

The midfielder first arrivated at the north London club as one of the first new signings amid the Gunners' transition to Wenger's leadership, with the former Nagoya Grampus Eight boss replacing Bruce Rioch at the helm.

The two shared a close bond throughout their time together at Highbury, with Vieira helping the club to a domestic double before winning the World Cup on home soil with France in 1998.

Another double followed before Vieira became the first non-British player to captain the club in 2002, guiding Arsenal to their famous Invincibles campaign a season later across the 2003-04 campaign.

Vieira on future

While the former midfielder is yet to return to management, he admits that he hopes to find a new club sooner rather than later, though he does not wish to rush into something that could be the wrong project for him simply to spite his former employers.

“When you look closely at my career, the choices I have always made are ones that I intend to last," he added. "I have a certainty about what I want to do and how good a coach I can be.

"Yes, there have been opportunities but I know now is not the time. Leaving immediately for a new side wouldn't have made sense. Seeking a feeling of revenge was not the right thing to do."

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