Bronx, N.Y. – “I’m quite a really positive person and I’m really ambitious,” Patrick Vieira said when asked why he felt he would succeed in his new role as coach of the New York City Football Club despite his unfamiliarity with the league and the sometimes byzantine nature of the MLS rulebook.
Deep in the bowels of Yankee Stadium Wednesday afternoon, Vieira looked with confidence to Claudio Reyna in the seat next to him and said, “I am not going to have anyone better than Claudio to help me and support me during the season.”
Despite an impeccable resume as a player, notably as captain of Arsenal’s Invincibles in 2003-04, and as a member of France’s 1998 World Cup winning team, Vieira figures to need that help and support.
Vieira inherits a team that missed out on the playoffs in its first season costing MLS lifer Jason Kreis his job. Reyna indicated that although, “we both want to succeed as soon as possible,” the Senegal-born coach would be given more rope than his predecessor.
“We also are aware,” the NYCFC Director of Football Operations said, “that there is a lot of work to be done.” “We don’t want to come out and make any crazy, bold predictions,” Reyna added, “but we’re confident that with the team we have there’ll be an improvement.”
For his part, the new NYCFC coach is under no illusions. “We are in the industry where results matter and that’s why I strongly believe that if we work hard, if we get the results everybody will be really happy and it will be really important to us to win games, to win trophies because it is important because people judge you by what you’ve won.”
Vieira also added that he wants to see his team develop a style of play saying, “we want to win and we want to win trophies by playing the right way.”
With that in mind, GotSoccer asked Vieira whether he had a style of play or a particular formation in mind, eliciting an interesting response from the former Manchester City youth manager.
For now, the coach indicated that he would hold off on tactical specifics, instead emphasizing an overall philosophy. “What would be really important for me is to give an appropriate identity to the team.”
“I would like,” Vieira stated, “to see the team reflecting what New York is all about.” “I’m really passionate about the city,” Vieira explained, adding, “it is full of energy in this city and I would like my team to reflect what New York is all about.”