Former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder Patrick Vieira has lamented the current crop of Premier League footballers, claiming some players are too worried about looking pretty.
While he works in the United States with MLS outfit New York City, Vieira still keeps a close eye on the English game, having earned a reputation as one of the best tough-tackling midfielders in the country.
Vieira had some heated battles in the Premier League, especially during his nine-year stint at Arsenal when up against Manchester United captain Roy Keane.
Asked about the Premier League and the lack of physical midfielders, Vieira told the Daily Mail: “Players maybe now want to look more pretty than anything else.
“I feel disappointed when I watch games now because too many players think of themselves. That’s how it has changed.
“There are still good players, maybe better than we were, but they are looking too much at themselves.”
Vieira has been retired since 2011, now in charge of New York – part of the City Football Group.
In his debut season and first as a senior coach, the World Cup and European Championship winner guided New York to the play-offs for the first time in their short history.
The 40-year-old former France international, though, is quietly dreaming of a return to the Etihad Stadium.
He added: “This is the fairytale story. It doesn’t often happen like that. I don’t look further than next year because in our world anything can happen.
“I am really pleased that people in this club think one day I can manage here. That makes me proud but at the same time we never know what’s going to happen.
“I am happy to be part of the group because I love the people. They have given me the opportunity to do something I wasn’t sure I was capable of.
“Maybe tomorrow, two, three years I will have an opportunity somewhere else. If that happens we will sit down and talk about it.”