Vidic: 'Will be great for United, fans to see someone who understands club history'

The Serbian speaks of managing football clubs, the nuances between playing and managing, and more.

Nemanja Vidic   -  EMMANUAL YOGINI

Nemanja Vidic believes managers taking charge of clubs in the Premier League, like his own Manchester United, can deliver with an understanding of the club history and feels ex-players taking up team management are better equipped to handle expectations from club and fans. The former MU captain, speaking on the sidelines of ‘The Football Movement’, also pointed out that modern club managers are judged on trophies won, leading to frequent changes at the top.

Jose Mourinho is the latest manager in the hot seat, struggling to live up to Manchester United reputation for winning major tournaments. Replying to a query whether former player-turned-manager is a better option than famous managers thrust on the club, Vidic said: “Personally I think it is important (to understand) that Man U as a club have a history of the manager staying for 25 years, from Sir Alex (Ferguson) and Matt Busby before that. Managers stayed long, then tried to develop the club. We are in a different world now, the manager is changing all the time, they don’t get a  chance to build something, depend much more on results than before.”

He added: “I think it will be great for (Manchester) United and fans to see someone in charge who understands the club history, understands the club character and try to take it forward from there.” Looking at the struggle the high-profile Mourinho is going through in establishing himself in the eyes of players and fans, the Serbian said: “We have been players, so know how players think. It helps a bit (in gaining acceptance).” Asked his view on ex-players like Ryan Giggs capable of doing what Zinedine Zidane accomplished at Real Madrid, Vidic replied: “When you have a career like Zidane (at Real Madrid), there is respect  and, you get more chance to prove (yourself) in the beginning.”

Like many former players, the one-time legendary central defender in Premier League history with the Reds is in the process of acquiring a coaching licence. Vidic confessed that playing and managing is different. “As a footballer you know how to play and what you will like to play. This (managing) is a different kind of mentality, I am still in the learning mould, do not still see myself as a manager. It is quite different and I am looking forward to the learning process.”

Vidic’s one-time teammate at Manchester United, Wes Brown, is playing for Kerala Blasters FC in ISL season four. “He is a utility defender, able to play different positions and played a vital role in  our Champions League win (Manchester United beat Chelsea in the 2007-2008 final at Moscow). The ISL is attracting coaches from Premier League and the Serbian is ready to look at coaching offer in future. “Of course, why not. Indian football is growing. My mentality as manager will be to win as well as develop the sport. You never know what the future will bring (for me). For the moment, I am looking to get as much knowledge as I can.”

Vidic is in India for the first time in connection with a two-day seminar. The UK Department for International Trade (DIT), the PL and India On Track, are bringing PL and Indian football clubs, sports organisations and businesses together to focus on ‘Commercial Sustainability and the Growth of Football in India’. He will also watch the ISL game between Mumbai City FC and North East United FC at the Mumbai Football Arena.

  Dugout videos