Patrick Vieira believes that Arsenal will not win the title this season as they do not have the mental strength or leadership qualities to grind out wins.
Vieira, who won three league titles with the Gunners and was the captain of their invincible team in 2003/04, is currently the manager of Manchester City's elite development club. The Gunners will take on City at the Etihad stadium on Saturday in a lunchtime kick-off with a chance to go eight points clear at the top against a side who haven't lost at home this season. However, City's away form has been their Achilles' heel this season, where they have lost four and drawn one of their games, putting a real brake on their title charge.
The Gunners have gone eight years without a trophy which they last won in 2005 when they defeated Manchester United in the finals of the FA Cup. However, this season they have started on a high and are currently five points clear at the top ahead of Liverpool, who are second. A win against City will more or less seal their title credentials and force everyone to consider them as serious threat in the title race.
"When you look at Arsenal, they play fantastic football. But sometimes you need to win games playing badly, and I don't think Arsenal are capable of that at the moment. Maybe there is a lack of leadership - they don't have a Tony Adams, Martin Keown or Sol Campbell. These are players who can be leaders on or off the field," Vieira said.
Meanwhile, the midfielder still has bitter memories of his departure from Arsenal, where he believes that he was pushed out in spite of having wanted to end his career at the Emirates. In spite of an acerbic end to his career, he still remains one of Arsenal's greatest servants.
"The club didn't really fight to keep me or ask me to stay. I was really close to leaving for Real Madrid the year before, the deal was done between the two clubs, but I wanted to finish my career at Arsenal," he concluded.