Patrick Vieira believes Arsenal need to be more like Ajax and have more ex-players coaching at London Colney.
The former Gunner, who is currently coaching at New York City FC, believes having former players coaching the new ones is better for them, especially the youngsters. Speaking recently, he appeared confused as to why Arsenal don’t already do this.
“My generation had lots of physically strong players. In this last five or six years, Arsenal went more with this type of mobile, technical players,” he said, as reported by the Telegraph.
“The Invincibles had it all. For me it was like the French national team in 1998, when we had physical players, players with flair, players with pace, it was quite a similar kind of team.
“Now when I watch Arsenal, yes they play good football but I just have a feeling they are missing something – the physical presence, the personality, this is what they’re missing.”
He continued, “I’m disappointed not to have ex-Arsenal players working at Arsenal,” said Vieira, who said he was a big fan of the club and always looked for their result first.
“It is good for the young players who could see an Henry, Ljungberg, Campbell or Keown who have been at the club a good few years working in the Academy, or working somewhere. I think they can do it a bit more.
“Players want to do it but do not have the opportunity. I don’t understand it. The perfect example is Ajax – you see all the old players working for the club, on the field, in the office – the door is always open for them – but Arsenal don’t do it and I don’t know why.”
Thierry Henry was coaching at London Colney before he decided that TV punditry was more important. Now, Freddie Ljungberg has been linked with his vacated role and is currently coaching the u15s. Steve Bould is obviously an ex-Gunner and is assistant manager. So, we do have former players coaching at the club but I do see where Vieira is coming from.
The former midfielder also said he sort of admires Arsene Wenger’s approach to transfers but doesn’t think it’s working out. We need more physicality and personalities on the pitch.
“I quite admire that, in the world where some clubs have so much money, they go and buy players who pay £40m and are worth £10m,” he said.
“But on the other side the team is not doing as good as it used to and you need to win football matches.
“They’ve been disappointing, losing games they should have won.”
Vieira’s comments mirror pretty much most Gooners’ at the moment. I get Arsene Wenger’s approach to transfers and not wanting to pay over the odds for a player but, at the moment, something’s not working and it needs to change.