Denis Bergkamp
Arsenal Legend Denis Bergkamp. REUTERS

Arsenal legend Denis Bergkamp does not believe Arsene Wenger is to blame for the club's recent trophy drought but suggested the current side lack the winning mentality to compete with Manchester United and Manchester City.

Bergkamp, 42, won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups in his 11 years with the Gunners but the club have failed to win a trophy since he left in 2006.

Arsenal remain in contention for the FA Cup and Champions League, with a trip to AC Milan for the first leg of their last 16 Champions League tie on Wednesday followed by an away clash with Sunderland at the weekend.

Nevertheless, Bergkamp rejects the idea that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger should be held culpable for the club's recent decline and believes there are inherent problems within the squad and with the players' mentality.

"I feel there are a lot of similar players there at the moment," Bergkamp told the Daily Telegraph.

"It needs to be more diverse. You need a few strong characters who can get the team going. In training as well as matches.

"You also need a few players who can make a difference in terms of scoring goals. I don't feel there are enough of them."

Bergkamp refused to criticise Wenger's style of management and insists the Frenchman will remain at the Emirates for the foreseeable future.

"He's a winner. He can't just let go. He would think he hasn't finished there yet. He would want to finish on a high or at least do something that makes the team successful again," Bergkamp said.

"So I think he will wait and push as hard as possible to achieve that before he leaves. I've worked with Arsene for 11 years and it goes up and down. You do well, then you need some time to rebuild, then you do well again. But the thing now is that he isn't winning any trophies.

"Sometimes you just need to win something by showing a certain attitude to get the team going again. But I wouldn't say that's down to Wenger because he has been fantastic and he still is fantastic for the club.

"He brings in young players and sells them on for more money. Financially, he's doing great."

Bergkamp, now assistant manager to Frank de Boer at Ajax, insists Arsenal's current midfield does not possess the depth and versatility as the 'Invincibles' squad of 2003-04.

"We had Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Ray Parlour - when it wasn't working for one of the big names, one of these could step up," Bergkamp added.

"You can't only depend on one or two players. When they're having an off day, you need someone else."

Bergkamp singled out the contribution of Dutch compatriot Robin van Persie but advocated the striker could improve even further if he was deployed in a deeper-lying role.

"To be honest, I would still prefer to see Robin play a bit deeper behind the main striker so that he could pick his moments the way I used to," he said.

"I think he could be even better in that role, but the way he's playing now you can hardly blame the coach for putting him there."

But the Arsenal legend hinted the club would continue to underachieve unless they can rediscover their never-say-die attitude.

"Sometimes you need more of a winning mentality than a passing mentality," Bergkamp added.

"I'm not sure Arsenal have enough of that in their players, when the attitude becomes more important than the ability just to pass the ball.

"I don't know if the English mentality is missing a little bite. We had it with the back four, of course, who had the mentality of thinking, 'OK, this game is ours now.'

"Sometimes I see their games and it's always the same way of playing, a bit too predictable. They are all fantastic players, that must be said, but sometimes you need a bit more of the other side."