Patrick Vieira would like to see Arsenal adopt similar tactics to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho as he called on his former team to be more physical following their poor start to the Premier League season.
Arsenal crashed to a 4-0 rout at Liverpool on Sunday, their second consecutive loss in the Premier League following a 1-0 defeat at Stoke City as pressure mounts on manager Arsene Wenger.
The Londoners also conceded three goals in their season-opening 4-3 win over Leicester City as alarm bells ring at the Emirates Stadium.
While Arsenal’s attacking football is enjoyable to watch, former captain Vieira – now head coach of MLS side New York City – believes Wenger needs to implement more discipline.
“Would I like my team to be more like a Jose or an Arsene team? I would like to be the balance of both,” Vieira said via the Daily Mail.
“I would like my teams to have the discipline that Jose has but also allow players to express themselves into that discipline like Arsene. Arsene always gives freedom to his players. To have that freedom is good but if you can get them to respect the tactical aspect of the game it will be even better.
“When you talk about Jose who I had at Inter Milan, he was always focused on the details, giving players information that allows them to go on the field and respect the tactical game.
“Then you have Arsene who is always positive and always giving confidence to the players no matter what.
“Fabio Capello could be really tough on players. Roberto Mancini would work on tactical work for an hour and a half because the tactical game was important for him. So I take a little bit from everybody and try to use it with how I see the game and how I am as person as well.”
“If you look at Arsenal today I really enjoy watching them play, they play some really good football,” Vieira – winner of three Premier League titles with Arsenal – added.
“But that is not enough to win football matches or to win competitions. In our time we were winning and we had the strength to not play well but somehow manage to win the game 1-0.
“I’m not one to say, ‘Our generation was better than this generation’. It doesn’t make sense to compare the two generations because we are in a different period.
“The team in our generation were more physical but this generation are better football players, there’s no doubt about that. So the balance is what Arsenal need to find. We had the physicality to deal with different situations.”
Vieira continued: “You’re not going to tell me Mesut Ozil is not a leader? You’re not going to tell me Alexis Sanchez is not a leader? You’re not going to tell me Petr Cech is not a leader.
“I believe there are different types of leaders on the field. You have the technical leader, you have the vocal one, you have the one who doesn’t talk but shows it in his desire and how he competes.
“I’m more like that: the one who isn’t as vocal as Tony Adams but will show it how he competes on the field. And you have the type of leader who will want to take a penalty in the 95th minute — this is part of being a leader as well.
“There are leaders in the team to challenge and they have the experience to win matches.”
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