Ex-Gunner: Arsenal Can’t Compete With The Big Teams

By on September 7, 2011

Robert Pires has given his backing to under fire boss Arsene Wenger but admits the Arsenal manager must change his style and the club currently can’t compete with the top sides.

The Frenchman recalls when he was apart of the side that was heavily beaten at Old Trafford but feels the current side didn’t stick together when under pressure against the Champions.

“I remember when we were beaten 6-1 at Old Trafford. Immediately afterwards, the president [David Dein] publicly supported Arsene and the team,” Pires told France Football. “It had an effect – the next game we slammed West Ham 3-0.

“At the moment, Arsenal will struggle to compete with the big teams and that’s what scares me. The current team – that was good last season – is missing parts.

“Losing at Old Trafford happens to everyone. But when you let in three, four, five goals you have to stick together. Letting in eight? That is not normal.”

Pires admires his compatriot style of football but admits he should consider changing his methods. He said:

“We must allow time for Arsene, to trust him. I respect his philosophy. But is it good? I would suggest not in relation to statistics.

“He has not won anything since he took that direction, so he will perhaps have to change his tune. I know what Arsene is capable of, but he must have the backing of the owner.

“Arsene is caught in a storm and I will be the first to support him because I love the man and the coach. And that team continues to play good football.

“Arsene must build his team as he has always wanted, with players who like the ball but also with warriors.

“You can’t start a young team like that and say ‘we must win the championship’. [Sir Alex] Ferguson is getting it right now. He built on his team – he bought Ashley Young when he already had Nani and [Antonio] Valencia.

“When we went from Highbury to the Emirates, there was a change. At Highbury there was an atmosphere, people were close to you, it was a stage.

“Arsenal chose to move for business reasons. It’s part of the life of a club, but we lost something [as a result].”

Wenger has also come under criticism for the players he has brought in this summer. The French coach finalised deals for left-back Andre Santos from Fenerbahce, centre-back Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen, Yossi Benayoun on loan from Chelsea, and midfielder Mikel Arteta from Everton.

“I’m not surprised he has not brought in players before [the end of August]. It’s totally Arsene, all is well, but at some point, when you take the opposite view and it’s late August, you have to do something.”

Submitted by Football Friends


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  1. arsenaloudin

    September 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I couldnt agree more with Robert Pires. Arsene is a nice person and a good coach who is passionate with his philosophy BUT he if he modifies it a bit and imorovise it here and there, he will see pretty soon see the fruits of his labour

  2. Ahmed

    September 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    i wouldnt agree with pires,cuz look @ last 2 seasons when madrid invested £280m n @ d end of d season they won nothing rather 2nd on d table,what did they lack then………….nothing,so dont critise wenger’s philosophy much,he’s a great coach,just tell d board 2 give him d support he deserves when it comes 2 transfer

  3. john muhindo

    September 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Ofcourse arsenal football will change abit to compete with big4. I think in big 4 were there plus atrophy. I do trust the new signing to boost our squad performance excellently

  4. Richard

    September 8, 2011 at 10:02 am

    The fans do not help the cause when they boo their own players. The concern is that the minority of fans who boo their own players will invariably add unnecessary stress to our players. I do not believe that the players put on an Arsenal shirt to disgrace the club. We have been blaming the manager and the players but sometimes we need to reflect on our own behaviour towards the players as well. The club can’t say this because the fans pay money to sustain the club.

  5. gunner angel

    September 8, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Arsenal style of football is the best, & if we play & get the goals, believe me we will be unbeatable team. checkout barca they play &score that is why they can beat madrid,man u& others.

  6. gunner angel

    September 8, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Arsenal style of football is the best, & if we play & get the goals, believe me we will be unbeatable team. checkout barca they play &score that is why they can beat madrid,man u& others. proudly a gun man

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