Patrick Vieira: “I am part of a really good project and my heart and my mind are into that project and I am happy where I am.” (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
By Michael Lewis
NEW YORK — Another day, another coaching rumor concerning Patrick Vieira.
Now the New York City FC head coach is being linked to the Southampton job in England.
That bit of news was brought up during MLS Rivalry Week media day at the league’s headquarters Tuesday afternoon.
A reporter told Vieira that he was the favorite to take the job. According to Oddschecker.com, Vieira Monday was a 6-4 favorite for the job after he started out at 20-0, after Claude Puel was sacked as Southampton manager. Southampton (12-16-10, 46 points) finished in eighth place this past season.
Of course, that was news to Vieira.
When he was told of that bit of information, Vieira stated with a smile: “Another one again.”
Asked if he fancied the job, Vieira responded, “Do I fancy it? What do you want me to say?”
Vieira then explained he was quite happy where he was now and that he had no interest in taking on a new job or challenge.
“No,,no, no, of course not,” he said. “I am part of a really good project and my heart and my mind are into that project and I am happy where I am.”
Vieira, who turns 41 Friday, took over a first-year expansion team that struggled to a 10-17-7 mark in its inaugural season in 2015 and transformed it into one of the league’s most respected sides. City (15-10-9, 54 points) took second behind the Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference last season.
This season NYCFC (27) is in third place at 8-5-3.
The former French international and World Cup champion reiterated that he was quite comfortable where he was.
“I still think you have some up and down,” he said, “but overall I’m really enjoying myself.”
Someday Vieira will get an offer from a high-profile team that will be difficult to refuse in terms of glory and money.
For now, he is earning his coaching chops and trying out new ideas in MLS.
At one time, the league had a reputation as a retirement league for players.
It could be a springboard for such young and promising coaches as Patrick Vieira.
Except right now he is not ready to go anywhere.