The former France and Arsenal midfielder feels that is the true reason the national team is not punching its weight - not because of the high number of foreigners playing in the domestic game.
New Football Association chairman Greg Dyke recently reignited the debate over whether the progress of talented English youngsters was being blocked by the proliferation of overseas players at leading clubs.
Vieira, who won the World Cup and European Championship with Les Bleus, feels that is too simplistic an argument and believes coaching structures need to change.
He said: "I believe the game has changed and if the game has changed that means we need to change our methods.
"I believe that the methods in England haven't changed as much as the game has changed.
"I heard some comments about there being too many foreigners in the country, that that is why there is no chance for the English players to have a chance to play in the first team.
"But for me that is the comment everybody wants to hear.
"The truth is (we need to ask) how can we help the young players to develop? How do we give them the best tools for them to improve?
"The problem is deeper than just saying there are too many foreigners. I think this is a deeper problem."