Patrick Vieira has blamed a lack of physicality and personality within Arsenal’s squad for their Premier League drought under Arsene Wenger.
The club’s former captain won three Premier League titles during his stay between 1996 and 2005, with their famous Invincibles team going unbeaten in his penultimate season in 2003-04 – which remains the last time the Gunners claimed the title.
Wenger has been responsible for two FA Cup wins in the last three years, but Vieira points to serious deficiencies that were not present when he enjoyed his own era of success in England as reasons for their failure to challenge in the league.
“My generation had lots of physically strong players,” Vieira told The Telegraph.
“In the last five or six years, Arsenal went with more of this type of technical players. The Invicibles had it all.
“Now when I watch Arsenal, they play good football, but I just have a feeling they are missing something – the physical presence, the personality.
“The team is not doing as well as it used to and you need to win football matches. They’ve been disappointing, losing games they should have won.”
Vieira believes Wenger should be doing more to involve former players who previously enjoyed success under him in order to inspire Arsenal’s younger players.
“I’m disappointed not to have ex-Arsenal players working at Arsenal,” Vieira explained.
“It is good for the young players could see a Thierry Henry, a [Freddie] Ljungberg, or a [Martin] Keown who have been at the club a good few years working in the academy, or working somewhere.
“I think they can do it a bit more, players want to do it but do not have the opportunity.
“I don’t understand it, the perfect example is Ajax. You see all the old players working for the club, on the field, in the office – the door is always open for them – but Arsenal don’t do it and I don’t know why.”