Patrick Vieira- Is he worth it?

by Michael Somerville

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Manchester City’s “money-no- object” bid to become one of football’s leading forces took on a new chapter, when they announced the signing of former Arsenal midfield maestro Patrick Vieira on Friday.

I assume the lure of being paid in excess of £100,000 a week was too great for the 33 year old, as well as reuniting with manager Roberto Mancini at who managed him at Inter in 2006. Vieira’s six month contract shows that Mancini does not have complete faith in Vieira’s ability to perform at the highest level for a prolonged period, but it most certainly amounts to an important scoop for the 45 year old Italian.

There’s no doubt that Vieira will bring a mature attitude to City, something I imagine fans will hope will rub off on troubled Robinho. The Brazilian’s attitude on the pitch has been, at times, dreadful this season and I think Vieira could be the one to “whip him into shape.” Although Vieira is an undoubted professional, he has been in decline since his brilliant 04-05 season with Arsenal. He made 32 starts that season, and weighed in with a god- like 39 assists. Last season with Inter he made 12 appearances (5 from the bench) but still managed an impressive 8 assists.

A natural captain since the age of 19 with Cannes, Mancini will want him for his positioning and ability to pick out the right pass, rather than to gallivant from box to box; so memorable from his time with Arsenal. It may transpire that Vieira is used primarily as a formal mentor for the likes of Robinho in which he would encourage the Brazilian to work harder and track back more for the team. Nigel De Jong could also benefit from being encouraged by Vieira to exploit the space in the final third. De Jong has scored no goals and contributed no assists so far this season for City, but could discover an eye for goal with Vieira’s guidance. Fluent in Italian and English, Patrick Vieira could well prove to be the link in City’s quest to be a “top four” football team in England.

Having played his last game for Inter on Sunday, in which Inter beat Genoa 1-0, Jose Mourinho described the Frenchman’s performance as “incredible.” Incredible it may have been, but will Vieira be able to hold down a regular first team place in holding midfield with the likes of Gareth Barry, Stephen Ireland (City’s player of the year in 08-09) Nigel De Jong and Vincent Kompany all looking to make the position their own? His disciplinary record is not exactly exemplary either, as he picked up 26 yellow cards and 3 red in 91 games for Inter.

This may not matter.

Vieira brings a winning mentality to Manchester City, having won the Premier League and Serie A titles 3 times, as well as a World Cup (1998) and a European Championship with France two years later.

City’s “money-no object” approach is appearing to be paying off.

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  • CityBlUe

    Totally worth every penny

  • Dan

    I agree too, the man is class, 3 titles with Arsenal, 3 titles with Inter, just his presence in the tunnel is enough to put the fear into the opposition, the days of Keano & Viera standing there not looking at each other were great days. They both respected each other big time but hated each other too!

  • jimmythegent

    Over the hill, sorry! You might as well get Mendieta and Nedved. Way to much money. He was never as good as Keano anyway.

  • Dan

    disagree Jimmy, it was a FREE transfer so how can it could way to much money?

  • W.A.

    Money is the least of City’s worries. Their scattergun transfer policy could upset the dressing room though. Gareth Barry must feel like his position in the team has been underminedwith Vieira’s arrival. And with City being linked with Kaboul at Portsmouth only 6 months after buying Toure and Lescott, those two must suddenly feel a little unloved as well.

  • Darren

    Toure was a very poor signing in the first place, we sold him and got Vermalan, what a swap that was!

    Toure has never recovered from Malaria. He is very poor in the air and often goes missing in the big games

  • Michael Somerville

    It may seem a bit wacko, but I reckon Vieira can plan at centre back. Real height, real strength and can energise the entire back line with his presence.

    Although they won’t have spent huge money in a money up front transfer, the signing on fee must have been similar to Ballack’s to Chelsea, ie: huge!

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