Patrick Vieira has admitted that he learned more from Jose Mourinho as a manager than he did from Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, despite having played under the latter for far longer.
The Frenchman was an integral part of the elite Gunners’ sides of the earlier noughties, captaining them during their ‘Invincible’ season of 2003/04. He then moved to Juventus in 2005 before ending up under Mourinho at Inter Milan.
That’s where it gets interesting, with Vieira - as per The Times - having selected Mourinho as the man he would want managing his dream XI, not Wenger.
Obviously, both managers rank amongst the best in world football, but it’s testament to Mourinho’s influence that he gets the nod from a man who quite literally did it all during his playing career, despite only having managed him for 18 months.
Mourinho beats Wenger for Vieira
“Jose [would be manager for my dream XI]. He’s the manager who had more influence on me," Vieira said.
“Arsene is more concentrated on his own team — he gives freedom to players to express themselves. It’s a different style.
“He [Mourinho] was the one who impressed me most on his work ethic.
“He knew everything about the opposition, the strength, weakness.
“His detail was unbelievable - everything was so clear about what he wanted from each player.
“I don’t know what happened at Chelsea but he always got the best out of his players.”
So, Mourinho v Wenger. Realistically speaking it’s extremely difficult to pick one over the other without using a specific metric.
In terms of major trophies, Mourinho takes it, but the Special One’s nomadic style doesn’t lend itself well to values such as player development and loyalty.
Wenger, meanwhile, has built an empire at Arsenal, one that Vieira was a big part of once upon a time. The 66-year-old isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s difficult to argue with the fact he’s led the Gunners for 20 years.
Football fans, help us decide who you think is the better coach. Let us know if you’re Team Mourinho or Team Wenger in the comments box below.