Patrick Vieira from New York: I am Doing what I Love and I am where I Want to Be

New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira. (Getty Images)
New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira. (Getty Images)
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Patrick Vieira from New York: I am Doing what I Love and I am where I Want to Be

New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira. (Getty Images)
New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira. (Getty Images)

Patrick Vieira is determined to focus on the here and now – but it appears an almost Sisyphean task given that he is constantly asked where his future lies. Barely a week goes by when the New York City FC head coach is not linked with a vacancy either in Europe or the United States.

Even before Bruce Arena resigned after failing to lead USA to next summer’s World Cup finals, Vieira was touted as a possible replacement, leading the Frenchman to issue to a quick and firm denial regarding his interest in the position. This came soon after Vieira revealed he had tentative talks with Ligue 1 side St. Etienne in the summer. The rumors and speculation will only increase if Vieira leads NYC FC to the MLS Cup this year, in just his second season as a professional head coach.

Vieira, though, deals with the endless barrage of questions about his future with grace. “I am happy here,” he says, almost like a mantra.

“It is flattering ... to be linked with different clubs around Europe but it is just journalist talk,” Vieira told the Guardian. “I am doing what I love and am where I want to be. It was just speculation [regarding the USA job] and the best way to kill speculation is to be true and to be honest straight away and people will not talk about it anymore.”

When Vieira arrived in New York after a spell as Manchester City’s reserve team and Elite Development squad manager, it was widely assumed that the 41-year-old had been given a golden opportunity by City Football Group to further his coaching career and, if he proved himself in the US, would return to the Etihad to replace Pep Guardiola. Managing City is “the fairy-tale story,” Vieira even said last year.

Vieira, though, seems happily settled in New York with his wife and daughter and intends to see out his contract at NYC FC, which has one more year left to run. He could even stay in MLS beyond 2018. “Why not?” he says with a smile. “I don’t have any reason why not.”

For now the former Arsenal, Internazionale and France midfielder is looking to do what the New York Yankees could not this year – bring a major trophy to Yankee Stadium. Due to the Yankees’ extended play-off run, NYC FC were forced out of Yankee Stadium in their final game of the regular MLS season (to, of all places, Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets). It was the second occasion in a short space of time this happened to NYC FC due to the demands of the Yankees. With the Bronx Bombers having fallen just short in their attempts to reach the World Series, the schedule is clear for NYC FC’s MLS play-off run but further stadium clashes likely await next season (and, indeed, every year until they find their own facility).

Vieira is philosophical about the issue. “It is challenging – there is no doubt about it. But we knew what to expect. It is not a surprise for us,” he adds. “What is important to us is to find the best facilities that we can have to find the feeling that we are playing at home. It can happen again next year but it is something that we knew we would face as Yankees are a massive franchise and are expected to do well. We will just have to deal with it.”

The Guardian Sport



India Makes 196 and Beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup

Pandya struck four boundaries and three sixes in an unbeaten 50 to lead India to 196-5. (The AP)
Pandya struck four boundaries and three sixes in an unbeaten 50 to lead India to 196-5. (The AP)
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India Makes 196 and Beats Bangladesh by 50 at Twenty20 World Cup

Pandya struck four boundaries and three sixes in an unbeaten 50 to lead India to 196-5. (The AP)
Pandya struck four boundaries and three sixes in an unbeaten 50 to lead India to 196-5. (The AP)

Hardik Pandya blasted Bangladesh with a 27-ball half-century and Kuldeep Yadav's three wickets finished off India's win at the Twenty20 World Cup on Saturday.

Pandya struck four boundaries and three sixes in an unbeaten 50 to lead India to 196-5.

Yadav then took 3-19 in four overs to limit Bangladesh to 146-8.

India moved to the top of Group 1 in the Super Eight with two wins from two matches. Bangladesh was winless.

Put into bat, India started quick as captain Rohit Sharma scored 23 off 11 balls. Virat Kohli added 37 off 28, hitting three sixes. The duo put on 39 off 22 balls for India’s best opening stand in the tournament, The AP reported.

Sharma was caught in the fourth over off Shakib al Hasan, while Kohli put on another 32 off 27 balls with Rishabh Pant for the second wicket.

Tanzim Hasan Sakib struck twice in the ninth over, getting Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav for 6 as India slumped to 77-3.

But Rishabh Pant anchored one end with 36 off 24, including four fours and two sixes, putting on 31 off 19 balls with Shivam Dube.

Despite Pant’s dismissal in the 12th over, Dube’s prowess against spin came in handy — he hit three sixes, scoring 34 off 24 balls.

But it was Pandya who took charge in the death overs. India scored 62 runs in the last five overs.

Pandya was named player of the match.

“We have played some really good cricket (to win five straight games),” he said. "We have executed our plans well, but as a group we can still improve. We sometimes lose wickets in a bunch, but apart from that things are looking good.”

Bangladesh's reply made a steady start. Openers Litton Das (13) and Tanzid Hasan (29) added 35 off 27 until Pandya got the breakthrough in the fifth over.

The Tigers were at 66-2 in the 10th over and scoring slower. The chase unravelled when Yadav came on to bowl. He trapped Hasan lbw, and dismissed Towhid Hridoy for 4 and claimed the big wicket of Shakib for 11.

Bangladesh lost three wickets for 32 runs across 24 balls and didn't recover.

Pace bowlers Jasprit Bumrah (2-13) and Arshdeep Singh (2-30) helped to seal India’s fifth win over Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup.

Australia wins toss, sends Afghanistan in to bat At Kingstown, St. Vincent, Australia captain Mitchell Marsh won the toss and chose to bowl against Afghanistan in their Super Eight Group 1 match.

Australia is unbeaten at the tournament thus far and another victory against Afghanistan will see it advance along with India, which beat Bangladesh earlier Saturday, into the semifinals.

Australia beat Bangladesh by 28 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis system due to rain delays in its opening Super Eight game on Thursday, with Pat Cummins taking the first hat-trick of the tournament.

Afghanistan lost its opening Super Eight match to India by 47 runs and now must beat Australia to stay in contention for the semifinals.

With the pitch at the Arnos Vale Ground expected to help spinners, Australia made one change to its side with Ashton Agar coming in for pace bowler Mitchell Starc.

Afghanistan made two changes with Guldabin Naib and Karim Janat coming in for Najibullah Zadran and Hazratullah Zazai.

The last time these two countries met was at the ODI World Cup in India where Glenn Maxwell smashed an astonishing 201 not out to guide Australia to what appeared a most unlikely victory at Mumbai.

Australia is attempting to add the T20 World Cup to its previous successes in the 50-over World Cup and World Test Championship.