INVINCIBLE: Patrick Vieira
ARSENAL LEGEND Patrick Vieira has told his former club that they need to toughen up if they are to fulfil their potential.
Vieira who won the FA Cup with Manchester City last season and helped the club to a first ever Champions League berth, retired after City’s breakthrough season, and is of the opinion that the current Arsenal team is a better footballing side than the Invincibles who he skippered to the title in 2003-04 without losing a game.
But he says Arsenal were overtaken by City last season partly because the Blues have the right team balance – and Arsenal don’t.
Vieira said: “Since I left Arsenal there are new players, a new generation and maybe a new philosophy, because Arsenal play better football than we used to do in my time.
“They have the passing and the movement, and they are faster, but our team was more physical and responded better to the English game.
“We had physicality, we had creativity, we had everything, and maybe now Arsenal lack the physical aspect of the game.
“They lost that physical aspect but have gained in the technical aspect. Maybe it’s balance you need to find to win trophies.
“If you look at United, Chelsea and City, the physical aspect of the game is there. The season is really long and really hard with international weeks, and players get tired and perhaps need to work harder.
“The big problem in the last few years has been the physical difference between Arsenal and the other clubs. This Arsenal team play good football and creates chances.
“It is possible to play good football and win, but you need to believe in it. Arsenal believe in it, but they haven’t managed to win it yet.
“Arsenal have to believe they have played the best football but in the end they don’t win.”