By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Patrick Vieira has revealed that he rates Jose Mourinho as a better manager than Arsene Wenger.
The Arsenal legend has claimed the axed Chelsea boss had a bigger influence on him than his fellow Frenchman despite spending nine trophy-laden seasons under Wenger with the Gunners.
Asked who he would pick to lead his dream XI, Vieira told The Times: “Jose. He’s the manager who had more influence on me.
“Arsene is more concentrated on his own team — he gives freedom to players to express themselves. It’s a different style.”
Vieira won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups in his spell in North London, including Arsenal’s incredible ‘Invincibles’ campaign in 2003/04.
The World Cup winner then moved to Italian giants Juventus — and later to Inter Milan, where he linked up with Mourinho.
Despite being offloaded by the Portuguese after just 18 months at the San Siro, Vieira claims he learned more in that time than he did with Wenger.
“He 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.”
Vieira finished his playing career on the fringes at Manchester City, before being offered a role with the club’s development squads.
He has since been fast-tracked to coach City’s under-21s and now to American sister club New York City Vieira, where he was this week unveiled as the new manager.