Patrick Vieira claims Arsenal are lacking a physical presence

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Football News

Each year that passes by since Arsenal last won the Premier League just deepens the pain and frustration amongst the club's supporters.

Twelve years on since that incredible 'Invincible' campaign and Arsene Wenger may have continued his excellent record at getting the side into the Champions League but they have generally struggled to mount a serious title challenge.

And everyone seems to have a theory why. Lacking a striker, too open at the back, a naive approach or simply Wenger, there have been numerous explanations behind the Gunners' downfall.

But perhaps Patrick Vieira is actually one of the best men to ask what has gone wrong. After all, he was their formidable leader in one the club's most successful seasons in history.

Vieira is now a manager himself at New York City in the MLS but still follows the progress of his old side and is concerned with the current direction the club are taking.

“My generation had lots of physically strong players. In this last five or six years, Arsenal went more with this type of technical players," he told The Telegraph.

"The Invincibles had it all. For me, it was like the French national team in 1998, when we had physical players with flair, with pace, it was a similar team.

“Now when I watch Arsenal, yes they play good football, but I just have a feeling they are missing something – the physical presence, the personality.”

Arsenal are without a win after their first two tricky fixtures in the Premier League.

An opening day loss at home to Liverpool was followed by a 0-0 stalemate with defending champions Leicester City, putting even more pressure on Arsene Wenger to improve the squad before the transfer window closes.

However, Vieira called Wenger's reluctance to throw money at any available player 'brave'.

He also believes the north London side are missing a trick by not employing former heroes in coaching roles after Thierry Henry was dismissed from his job in the Under-18's team.

Vieira continued: “I’m disappointed not to have ex- Arsenal players working at Arsenal."

“It is good for the young players who could see a Thierry Henry, a Ljungberg, a Sol Campbell or a 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.”

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Thierry Henry
Premier League
Arsene Wenger
Patrick Vieira
Patrick Vieira

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