By Abba Gwale
Patrick Vieira was sacked as coach by French Ligue 1 club Nice on Friday, paying the price for five consecutive defeats, the club said.
The former Arsenal player and France 1998 World Cup winner had his contract terminated the day after his team lost 3-2 at home to Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League.
The 44-year-old, whose contract was due to expire at the end of the season, had come in for increasing criticism over a downturn in results amid accusations the team lacked a discernible style of play.
Vieira appeared defiant after 11th placed Nice were beaten 3-1 at home by Dijon on Sunday – the visitors’ first Ligue 1 victory of the season.
The World Cup winner was appointed in 2018 to replace Borussia Dortmund-bound Lucien Favre and led Nice to seventh in 2018-19 and fifth last season as they qualified for the Europa League group stages.
But the team has struggled domestically this season and failed to make it out of their Europa League group, where they sit third after only one win in five matches.
A club statement, confirming the decision to part ways on Friday, said: “Patrick Vieira, who joined the club in the summer of 2018, is no longer head coach of OGC Nice, effective immediately.