Did I just read this correctly or has my mind turned to mush?
Arsene Wenger: “Theo, I don’t want the ball to be kicked higher than this, okay?”
Patrick Vieira has been targeted as Arsene Wenger’s long-term successor as Arsenal boss.
Gunners legend Vieira is expected to hold talks with Wenger this week about a free transfer from Inter Milan.
And although the 33-year-old will sign solely as a player, senior club sources indicate Arsenal are keen to give him a key role in the club’s coaching set-up after next summer’s World Cup finals.
Vieira will jump at a move to the Emirates, snubbing interest from rivals Spurs, who know their hopes of capturing the Frenchman are fading fast. Wenger and Vieira have remained in regular telephone contact throughout the four years since he left the club for Juventus and he is one of the Arsenal manager’s closest confidants.
Vieira is desperate for regular first-team football so that he can play for France in the World Cup in South Africa next year. After that, he is interested in pursuing a coaching career.
The Arsenal boss. has yet to make a formal offer for Vieira but is expected to do so after this weekend’s Emirates Cup four team tournament.
Wenger, 59, is contracted to Arsenal until 2011 and, until now, no likely successor has been identified. (Sunday People)
Farfetched doesn’t do this source enough justice, this is plain ‘join the dots’ journalism of the worst type. It may well be true that Wenger is lining up a move for Paddy, and I have read, in far more respectable journals, that such a deal may be a pay as you play one, but where the hell do they get this rubbish about the French midfielder becoming the next Arsenal boss?
I am sure its news that will have Vieira himself doing a double take as he peruses The Sunday People whilst tucking into his tea and toasted slice! I can imagine similarly Arsene Wenger tucking into his breakfast and laughing himself silly at this completely outrageously flimsy attempt at a non-story.
Personally I am not sure that I can imagine Patrick being a manager, he just doesn’t strike me as the type who would get much enjoyment out of that side of the game.
As for the dreaded day when Arsene calls it a day, surely some time in the very distant future, I would recommend bringing in the management dream team of Perry Groves and Gus Caesar (expect this news to filter just in time to fill the back pages of next weeks Sunday People!).