Emmanuel Petit: ‘Arsenal lack players with a winning mentality’
Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit feels his old club are paying the price for not playing to their strengths and not having enough proven winners.
Old days: Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit says Arsene Wenger’s team does not feature natural winners Photo: GETTY IMAGES
By Telegraph staff and agencies 8:31AM GMT 14 Mar 2011
Saturday’s FA Cup defeat at Manchester United means that unless Arsenal can wrestle their rivals from the top of the Premier League between now and the end of the campaign, they will have gone six seasons without winning a trophy.
And Petit, who won the Premier League and FA Cup double with Arsenal in 1998, thinks he knows why.
He told The Sun: “Since 2005, and the departures of (Patrick) Vieira, (Robert) Pires and company, you realise he’s banking above all on a young, malleable team where he can invest in a sporting project.
“Arsenal’s game is a trademark on the pitch but there aren’t really any players with a winning mentality.
“This pains me because I am an Arsenal and fan and, over the last few seasons, if there’s a team that’s deserved to win a title it’s them.”
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Arsenal have gained a reputation as a passing team, but Petit feels that not all of their players are suited to that style of football.
He added: “Players are playing against their nature a bit. Barca play exceptional football and from an early age they teach the boys the same way.
“That’s not the case with Arsenal. There are players we’ve known for a while who are playing against their nature.
“I’m thinking of lads like Abou Diaby, whose physical impact is a bit less. There are players who try to play in the image of Cesc Fabregas when they don’t have the same qualities.”