Patrick Vieira believes the missing element from the current Arsenal squad is the physical presence that marked his trophy-laden era at the club.
Vieira scored the decisive penalty in the 2005 FA Cup final, since then the Gunners have gone six seasons without claiming any silverware.
That was the 35-year-old World Cup winner’s last game for the club, and while he believes the Gunners have developed a more attractive 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 recently named a coaching ambassador at Manchester City.
“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.”
Meanwhile, skipper Cesc Fabregas is reportedly set to miss Arsenal’s upcoming pre-season trip to Germany with the same hamstring injury that kept the Spaniard out of the club’s recent tour of Asia.