Patrick Vieira has opened up on his appreciation for Sevilla Head Coach Jorge Sampaoli.
The NYCFC Head Coach spent the second week of the offseason in Andalusia observing the innovative Argentine’s work first hand.
Sevilla are currently rivaling the El Clasico duopoly in La Liga in this, Sampaoli’s first job in Europe, following an historic spell in charge of the Chilean national which saw him mastermind the Copa America win in 2015.
Renowned for implementing a high pressing and attacking style of play, Sampaoli is seen as one of the game’s greatest minds and Vieira was grateful for the opportunity to learn more about his methods.
Vieira explained: “Why Sevilla? Because I really love Sampaoli – when he was coaching the Chilean national team, the way the team played was really fascinating to me.
“I wanted to look at him a little bit closer, to see the way he communicates with his team and the philosophy behind their style of play.
“I went there and spent a week and he was fantastic – he opened the doors and I really thank him for that. Not many managers open the doors in the way he did for me.
“It was the first time I met him and he was really nice. Sevilla is one of the nicest football clubs I’ve ever been to. Lovely people who I can only thank again.”
Patrick also discussed the Designated Player slot vacated by Frank Lampard in this offseason.
The Frenchman revealed that he is not wedded to the idea of a veteran or younger DP, but rather, wants players who can further improve his squad.
“We are open to any kind of options – what we really want is to find the right player who will help us to improve as a team,” Vieira considered.
“Then, we have to find a good person – David [Villa] is the perfect example of this. We want to find players who can fit with what we’re trying to do as a football club. If we find a young DP it will be good, if he’s not young, it will be good as well.
“We just have to take the best option we can find.”
Following his first year as a professional, senior coach, Vieira has had time to take stock.
The 40-year old is satisfied with what he describes as “a good year” but still feels as though he has areas to improve as a coach.
He added: “I learned that I still have a lot to learn. Every decision I make can have a massive impact on the team – the way I select the team, the way we work during the week, the way I conduct myself around the field. That was my first year as a professional coach and I think the impact on players I didn’t realize was quite so big.
“I need to be clearer on the responsibility I give to my players and send the correct message – to make it as simple as I can to make sure the messages are received.”