Thierry Henry, to some extent, played a part in Patrick Vieira, his good friend and former teammate at Arsenal and the French national team, recently accepting the head coaching position at New York City FC — so said Vieira himself on Thursday.
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Henry’s vouching for Major League Soccer as a viable league of choice didn’t come without a bit of good-natured ribbing, though, as the legendary Arsenal and France striker, who starred for the New York Red Bulls from 2010-2014, was more than happy to quip that Vieira “went to the wrong team” in the Big Apple.
Speaking at a promotional event (above video) on Thursday, Henry had the following to say of Vieira’s first head coaching gig:
“New York is a great town. He is going to love that. He is going to be coaching some guys he played against, which will be funny, and hopefully he can change the way that team is. It is a massive disappointment for them not to make the playoffs. I don’t know how they didn’t manage to do that, but they didn’t.
“He went to the wrong team.” [smile] “I’d hoped he would support Red Bulls and not NYCFC but at the end of the day, I just hope he has a good time there, a good career, and then comes back to Europe with a lot of experience.”
Henry was also asked whether he might join Vieira’s coaching staff at NYCFC, or some other time down the road, which Henry was quick to side-step and respond, “People do different things, but I wish him all the very best.”
Just like with Monaco, just like with Arsenal and just like with Barcelona, you can tell Henry still has a great deal of love and pride for his former club. Flip-flopping from the red side of New York (Jersey) to the blue side would only tarnish his connection and legacy with the Red Bulls, and Henry’s far too classy a character to do that.