‘Vieira will give Arsenal their identity back’ – Petit favours fellow Frenchman over Arteta & Nuno

A man who once graced the Gunners’ midfield would like to see a former team-mate taken to Emirates Stadium as successor to the ousted Unai Emery

Arsenal should be looking to appoint Patrick Vieira as successor to Unai Emery, says Emmanuel Petit, as a former Gunners captain would give the club their “identity back”.

Those at Emirates Stadium have looked a little lost of late, with inconsistency continuing to plague a north London giant.

Emery has paid the price for that with his job, with the Spaniard relieved of his duties 18 months after stepping into the shoes of Arsenal icon Arsene Wenger.

Numerous options have been mooted to fill a high-profile coaching void, but Petit believes the Gunners should look to another legend from their past for inspiration.

The Frenchman told Paddy Power of the leading candidates to take the reins: “We need a new manager to come in and change the mentality of the dressing room. Bring the team spirit with anger and what it means to wear the Arsenal shirt. To put the players on the pitch with confidence. Because things can change.

“I’m very impressed with what Nuno is doing at Wolves. Their progression has been perfect. I really like him as a manager, he has the right mentality for the club, and the results – after a slow start to the season – have been excellent at Wolves.

“As for Mikel Arteta, there’s a reason why Pep Guardiola asked him to join at Manchester City, and that’s a very, very good sign. I really respect Guardiola’s judgement. To me, it says that Arteta definitely has the personality to be Arsenal manager.

“They are amongst the favourites to get the job, and they’d both be a good choice, but I would prefer to see Patrick Vieira on the bench.

“He’s been managing for several years now and what he’s doing with the young players at Nice is impressive.

“On top of that, we need to get the Arsenal brand back – in terms of playing style and club spirit.

“Arsenal isn’t the same any more, I don’t recognise this club, we are losing it. I think some people will regret Arsene Wenger leaving, but Patrick can give us our identity back.”

Petit says that “everything was wrong” as Arsenal toiled under the tutelage of Emery, with it “about time” that a decisive decision was taken to try and get the Gunners back on track.

A 2-1 Europa League defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt proved to be the final straw for a board under pressure to take action, with Freddie Ljungberg set to be in caretaker charge of first-team affairs when a Premier League meeting with Norwich is taken in on Sunday.

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