There have been many discussions on JustArsenal over the last few years aboutour non-playing captains and lacking leadership on the pitch and in the dugout, and now one ofour Invincibles Patrick Vieira has pinpointed the differences between his generation and the present team.
“My generation had lots of physically strong players. In this last five or six years, Arsenal went more with this type of mobile, technical players,” Vieira said in the Telegraph.
“The Invincibles had it all. For me it was like the French national team in 1998, when we had physical players, players with flair, players with pace, it was quite a similar kind of 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, this is what they’re missing.”
Vieira, whose Invincible side were the last Arsenal team to win the League, also believes that Wenger should have some more Gunners legends working in the backroom to pass on their winning mentality, but as we have seen recently, Thierry Henry and Tony Adams have both turned down offers to continue working under Wenger. “I’m disappointed not to have ex-Arsenal players working at Arsenal,” he continued.
“It is good for the young players who could see an Henry, Ljungberg, Campbell or 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,”
Well we may not have Henry, Adams or Bergkamp, but we do have Steve Bould sitting beside Wenger during games, and we also have Steve Gatting coaching the U21’s. He may not be as well known but he did play 76 games for the Gunners back in the day. I have followed his career myself because I was at the same school as Steve in North London when he started off playing for Brent. And of course we all know his brother Mike…
So Patrick Vieira has pinpointed our lack of strength and “personality” as the reason for our lack of further success. Is it as simpleas that?