With all signs currently pointing to Mikel Arteta being named Arsene Wenger’s successor sooner rather than later, Patrick Vieira, another former Arsenal captain and midfielder, was apparently “left disappointed at Arsenal’s ‘token gesture’ after being contacted about the vacant managerial position,” according to Sky Sports.
The report also notes that Thierry Henry has not been contacted about the position.
It’s hard to find an issue with Arsenal if the call was indeed merely done out of courtesy to Vieira. Arsenal is under no obligation to invest significant time interviewing a candidate they don’t want to hire. And Vieira is well within his right to be disappointed. He wanted the job, and he’s not going to get it. That would be a bummer for anyone.
Perhaps a particular sore spot for Vieira is Arteta’s emergence as the prime target. Much of what is attractive about Arteta as a candidate is true for Vieira as well. He knows Arsenal well, he’s young and fresh, and he has a connection to Manchester City, albeit a fairly different one than Arteta. Plus, he’s got the managerial experience that Arteta lacks on his resume.
Who knows, maybe we’ll be looking back in a few years wishing Arsenal had chosen another former captain to lead the club forward in the post-Wenger era?