Crystal Palace boss Patrick Vieira has revealed that he went to the MLS in order to create his own managerial identity although he added that he was influenced by the managers he played under. The Eagles boss has won plaudits this season, with the club thriving since he replaced Roy Hodgson.
While he didn’t want to be a manager at first, things changed for Patrick Vieira as time passed and the Frenchman used his connections at Manchester City to get a job at New York City FC. The Arsenal legend’s spell there saw him thrive and it opened more than a few doors for Vieira, with him moving to France and then England after leaving the MLS. However, while his spell in the Ligue 1 was up and down, his time in England has seen him change the way Crystal Palace have performed.
So much so that the Eagles reached an FA Cup semi-final for the first time in more than half a decade but there has been little sign of him using the style of play of a manager he once played under. But Vieira admitted that he went to the MLS to try and mould his own identity instead of just becoming another copy of a manager he played under. He also added that he was influenced by them but needed that experience in the MLS to find his own managerial personality.
"I had the chance to play under some of the best managers around during my career and of course, I learned a lot from them But I didn't want to be another [Fabio] Capello, another [Arsene] Wenger, or another [Jose] Mourinho, trying to copy what they used to do or say, because I knew that wasn't going to work,” Vieira told Sky Sports.
"I wanted to have my own identity and a personality as a manager, and to be really clear about the details I want from players. That's why that experience at New York was massively important to me. It allowed me to find out what type of manager I was going to be, and what type of football I was going to develop.
"I tried a lot of different things - some worked, some didn't work - and I couldn't have done that if I'd been at a team in Europe. Being surrounded by the City family, I will say, allowed me to make those kinds of mistakes,” he added.
The move to Crystal Palace had come as a shock for many, especially after the stability that Roy Hodgson had provided the Eagles over the years but so far, Vieira has won plaudits. The Frenchman has not only changed the style of play but has done so with nearly a completely new team. Yet, Vieira added that he loves the club and loves the fact that it’s a “family-orientated” team where everybody knows everybody.
"What I really love about this football club is that it's family-orientated. It's still a small club where everybody crosses everybody else's path and everybody knows everybody else's name. Everybody is caring and supportive and as long as we can keep that, it will be the spine of the club that we build around.
"If the players we have brought in this season have had success, that is why. It is because they have felt the love and the support of the people around them. That has put them in a comfortable zone where they can just go and express themselves.
"I believe that when a player is in a happy place, you have more chance to maximise his potential and we have done that well with the players we brought in during the summer,” Vieira further revealed.