Rio Ferdinand has recently played down Arsenal’s UEFA Champions League credentials and believes the Gunners have worsened over the last few years.
After a summer filled with numerous transfer window snubs, Arsene Wenger managed to convince Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi to move to the Emirates. Apart from them, Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding and Takuma Asano were also roped in by the Frenchman.
With an average squad at his disposal and a number of key players out injured, Arsenal began the season with a home loss to Liverpool followed by a drab stalemate at Leicester City.
Since then, things picked up for Arsenal and they are now on the back of two consecutive wins, sitting seventh on the table with 7 points in the bag. The Gunners will now begin their quest for the elusive Champions League when they take on Paris St. Germain on Tuesday.
Ahead of the game, former Manchester United centre-back and TV analyst Rio Ferdinand has played down Arsenal’s credentials to challenge among Europe’s elite clubs. He believes that the team has deteriorated over the last few years and their chances to win are further away than they ever were.
In his column in the Evening Standard, Ferdinand said: “Arsenal are further away than ever from winning the Champions League and it’s because they have never really replaced the great spine from a decade ago.
“There is no one in this side that can match players such as Sol Campbell, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry.
“Those were guys that had big personalities and were men when they went into the changing room.
“They demanded the highest standards off each other and I just don’t see that in the Arsenal team at the moment.”
If the current crop of Arsenal players are to be compared to the likes of Campbell, Viera and Henry, the disparity is clearly visible. The ‘Invincibles’ squad of ’04 had a number of match-winning players which the current Gunners side does not.
Thus, it is essential for Wenger to bring the best out of his players and rebuild a squad that can match or even better the team he had at his disposal over a decade ago.