Arsenal Legend Patrick Vieira: Gunners Need To Be More Physical
Arsenal legend and current Manchester City development executive Patrick Vieira has sympathised with Arsene Wenger’s situation and said that he understands what the Arsenal manager is going through. He paid tribute to Wenger’s work ethic, but suggested that the work ethic didn’t translate onto the pitch as well as people would like.
Speaking to The Daily Mail, Vieira said that Wenger was working incredibly hard to bring success to Arsenal and was often the last to leave the training ground. But he said that the fans were not being unreasonable in demanding trophies, as a club of Arsenal’s stature was expected to win silverware on a regular basis.
“I am gutted for him because I know how much hard work he has put into Arsenal and how he loves the club”,
“He arrives early and leaves late and spends more time on the training ground than he does with his family. But you can understand the frustration of the fans. They are used to winning and haven’t won anything for six years. For a big club like Arsenal it is difficult to go a season without winning a trophy”.
He even went as far as to say that the current Arsenal team played better football than the teams he led in the early part of the decade, but he underlined the importance of putting trophies on the board, which his teams did but the current crop has so far failed to emulate. He suggested that there was an imbalance between technical ability and physicality, with Arsenal having a glut of technically gifted but lightweight players at the club.
He cited the examples of Man United, Chelsea and his present parent club Man City and said that they had a better marriage between the technical and physical. He said-
“I honestly believe that the Arsenal team now are playing better then we ever did. The difference is we put silverware on the sideboard. That is what people remember, not how you play.”
“Our team was more physical and responded better to the English game. Maybe now Arsenal lack the physical aspect. You need a balance 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 hard and players get tired and perhaps need to work harder”.
It remains to be seen whether Wenger will heed Vieira’s advice and cough up money for more physically imposing players, or will put trust in his continuing philosophy and hope that it pays off sooner or later. Stay tuned for more in this regard.