Martin Keown recalls when Patrick Vieira ‘flew at’ Arsenal teammate to show why he is perfect for Bournemouth job
Martin Keown has told Bournemouth to seriously consider appointing former Arsenal teammate Patrick Vieira as their next manager, insisting his old friend is destined for great things as a coach.
The Cherries are searching for their next permanent boss following the south coast club’s decision to sack Jason Tindall after just six months in charge.
A host of top names have been linked with the job, with Chelsea legends John Terry and Frank Lampard mentioned but both reportedly out of the running.
Jonathan Woodgate, meanwhile, has made a good case for himself after winning both of his two games in charge as caretaker manager.
Former Bournemouth boss Harry Redknapp, who offered his advice to Woodgate following his short-term appointment, has backed his ex-Tottenham player for the permanent role, telling talkSPORT has has put himself ‘in the driving seat’ after back-to-back wins over Birmingham in the Championship and Burnley in the FA Cup, which set up a quarter-final clash with rivals Southampton.
But Arsenal’s Invincibles captain Vieira has also been strongly linked with the role, having yet to find another job following his departure from Nice in December.
It’s been touted as a ‘match made in heaven’ with the former midfielder tipped to get the best out of recent signing and fellow ex-Gunner Jack Wilshere on the south coast.
And Arsenal legend Keown says Vieira deserves the job and would be a perfect fit after years of graft to make it as a top coach.
“I think he’s done the hard miles as a manager,” Keown told talkSPORT host Jim White.
“In 2013 he was given the job to run the Man City reserve team and did that to really good effect, he then went to New York City, managed there for three seasons, he’s just done three seasons at Nice.
“I think he’s somebody who has got great leadership qualities, he knows exactly what he wants, he loves the game and wants to be a manager and he has that education, that grounding.
“It’s up to Bournemouth to decide what they want next.”
Asked why he is so confident Vieira will be a success in the dugout, Keown explained how the Frenchman made an impression when he first arrived at Arsenal and how he transformed into one of the club’s most iconic leaders, as well as one of the world’s most underrated players ever.
“I saw him go from a boy to a man at Arsenal… I remember thinking: ‘OK, this guy has got something special’,” he said of his former teammate and old friend.
“He was very clever at the beginning, he pretended he couldn’t speak English, when of course he could speak it and understand it perfectly well.
“I remember him flying across the dressing room and grabbing someone – I won’t say who it was – by the throat as they were talking about him in English. Let’s just say he wasn’t happy and he sorted that problem out, as he did with many problems.
“In the latter years I found him to be a great person to be with. We sat next to each other in the dressing room and I helped him in whatever way he wanted.
“He is a special individual and he and his wife are a great couple. All he wants to do is manage and be in the game and I really sincerely hope he gets another opportunity, because he deserves it.
“His ability on the pitch was unquestioned, he’s one of the all-time greats, for me, and maybe he doesn’t quite get the credit he deserves.
“Management is another thing for him, but I think he has the calmness and the intelligence to be successful as a manager.”