Arsenal lack physical edge says former captain Patrick Vieira
Friday 22 July 2011
Patrick Vieira believes the current Arsenal squad lacks the physical edge that marked his trophy-laden era at the club.
The Gunners have gone six seasons without wining any silverware since Vieira, who made 406 appearances for the north Londoners, scored the decisive penalty in the 2005 FA Cup final.
That was the 35-year-old World Cup winner's last game for the club and while he believes the Gunners have developed a prettier style of play in the ensuing years, he suggested their inability to intimidate teams has cost them trophies.
"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," said Vieira, who was last week named a coaching ambassador at Manchester City following his retirement.
"The passing and the movement is better and they are faster. But our team was more physical and responded better to the English game.
"There is a big difference between the Arsenal team now and the one I played in.
"Look at the goalkeeper back then, you had the personality and presence of David Seaman.
"In defence you had players like (Tony) Adams, (Steve) Bould and (Martin) Keown and then myself and Emmanuel Petit in the midfield - it was a big, physical, intimidating team.
"But I honestly believe that the Arsenal team now are playing better than we were then. The difference is we put silverware on the sideboard."
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