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Former Arsenal team-mate backing Vieira to succeed Wenger

“The one I would take a gamble on, and I think he’d be given time, is Patrick Vieira,” says Ray Parlour.

Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira.
Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira.

ARSENAL SHOULD TURN to former captain Patrick Vieira as pressure continues to mount on Arsene Wenger, says former Gunners star Ray Parlour.

Serious questions are once again being asked of the long-serving coach in north London, with a disappointing display in the Carabao Cup final sparking talk of an imminent change in the dugout. Similar suggestions were offered 12 months ago, only for FA Cup success to earn Wenger a reprieve and a new two-year contract.

A 3-0 defeat to Manchester City at Wembley means that only the Europa League can offer another route to silverware, and Parlour believes that Arsenal should be sounding out potential managerial alternatives.

The ex-Arsenal midfielder told Sky Sports: “The club need a plan behind the scenes now. They may decide to go with an inexperienced person like Patrick Vieira or Thierry Henry.

“Or do we want to go with someone who has Champions League experience like Diego Simeone? Obviously then there’s Carlo Ancelotti, who has managed some of the biggest clubs in the world.

“But the one I would take a gamble on, and I think he’d be given time, is Patrick Vieira. He’s managed in New York. He knows the club very well and he knows the history of the club. I think he could attract big players and I think the fans would give him a chance as well.”

PA-1173747 Ray Parlour celebrates with Patrick Vieira after scoring against Coventry City in 1999. Source: Toby Melville/PA Archive/PA Images

Vieira moved into coaching after hanging up his boots in 2011, with an initial role taken up within Manchester City’s academy ranks. He then made a first foray into management when being appointed as the new boss at MLS side New York City in November 2015.

Vieira has spent 74 games in that post, suffering 24 defeats, and may be tempted to further his career by returning to England. The French midfielder was a World Cup winner and three-time Premier League champion during his playing days.

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