The football media and the Arsenal fans, players and manager have been feeling more and more optimistic as the current Gunners side continues to look better and extends the great run of form that has seen Arsenal climb steadily up the table, enjoying a nice early St. Totteringham’s day in the process and having the best form of any team in the top European leagues since the start of 2015.
But this air of confidence and belief does not seem to have seeped through to our former midfield star Ray Parlour, at least not yet anyway. As reported by The Mirror, the ex Gunner has poured a bucket of cold water on all the talk of Arsenal being back to our best, or at least slipped a couple of ice cubes down its back.
Parlour gave a pretty damning verdict on the current crop as compared with the best Arsenal team he played in, the famous invincibles of 11 years ago. He claims that only Alexis Sanchez would have got into that team, and even then it would have been as a midfielder rather than a striker. Parlour makes a case of Koscielny instead of Toure at the back as well but he is clearly not too bl;own away by the rest of the team.
Parlour does not see that as our main problem though, as it is the lack of a leader like Tony Adams that he thinks is the most important thing for the manager to find in order to bring back the glory days.
The 42-year old said, “I don’t think the full-backs would be good enough. Lauren was a great underrated player, and Ashley Cole was fantastic.
“I really like Laurent Koscielny; he’s improved so much. I could maybe see him getting a game instead of Kolo Toure, alongside Sol Campbell. You could make an argument for that, anyway.
“In midfield, Vieira and Gilberto did a great job and Pires was a very good player. The only one I could really see getting in would be Sanchez, on the right side of midfield.
“As for up front, none of them would have any chance of replacing Bergkamp or Henry. Not a chance.
“If I could pick one Arsenal player I played with to put back into the side now, who would make the biggest difference to the current team, it wouldn’t be Henry, Bergkamp, Vieira or Pires. It would be Tony Adams.
“It’s not just that he was a great defender, he was a real leader too. Sometimes you need that on the pitch.”
So do you agree with Ray? And who could be that leader for Arsenal?