Former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman admits it is frustrating to see his old club fail to fight for top honours - but backed Arsene Wenger's men to secure Champions League qualification again.
The Gunners head into their final seven matches of what has been a testing campaign, having reeled in both Tottenham and Chelsea in the race to finish in the top four with a run of seven wins in the last nine Barclays Premier League games.
However, Arsenal - who last won a trophy in 2005 - have long failed to mount a sustained title challenge, while this season they crashed out of both cup competitions to lower league opposition and saw their European hopes ended by Bayern Munich despite an admirable second-leg win in Germany.
Seaman - who lifted the championship three times, collected four FA Cups, the League Cup and a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup medal during his 13 seasons at Highbury - admits those recent barren campaigns have been difficult to take.
"Almost every year we were winning things. I have got nine winners' medals and quite a few runners-up ones as well and to see what is happening now is so frustrating," Seaman said on TalkSPORT.
"You could argue that they are playing better football because when they are on [form], nobody is going to beat them. They play some fantastic one-touch and two-touch football, but it is not consistent enough.
"Whether the balance is right, I don't know. We are getting inconsistent performances."
Seaman, 49, added: "The gap is getting bigger. You ask any player if he wants to go to Arsenal, or another club and double his wages and they are going to take that [latter] option.
"We would never have sold our best players when I was playing. Arsene Wenger knew when his best players were past it and when they had to go, but now people are leaving and going on to bigger and better things."
Despite inconsistencies, Arsenal still have destiny in their own hands and would move into third place in the table with victory against out-of-form Norwich at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, when England duo Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere could be back in contention after their injury lay-off.
Seaman, who joined Manchester City in 2003, feels the Gunners have got what it takes to overhaul their rivals and secure a place among Europe's elite clubs once again.
"Arsenal are in great form at the moment, so my worry would be for Tottenham," he said.
"Chelsea are still firing and Tottenham have hit a little bit of a dodgy patch."
Arsenal fans have long called for further investment in the squad, with more funds set to be made available to Wenger in the summer as new revenue from the move to Ashburton Grove begins to kick in.
However, Wenger is also set to offload surplus members of the squad, with reports today suggesting Russian midfielder Andrey Arshavin was considering retiring after being told he would not be offered a new deal and few takers lining up to meet high wage demands.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Swiss defender Martin Angha appears set for a switch to Bundesliga side Nurnberg.
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