Michael Thomas: 'Arsenal short of title challenge'

Thomas: 'Arsenal short of title challenge'
© PA Photos
Former Gunners title winner Michael Thomas believes that the current squad lack the grit to challenge for the Premier League this season.

Former Arsenal midfielder Michael Thomas believes that the current squad is not in a position to challenge for the Premier League title this season.

The Gunners have not won a trophy since their FA Cup triumph of 2005, and their wait for a top-flight championship stretches back a further year.

Thomas thinks that Arsenal are an improved outfit since last season, but still feels their lack of a Patrick Viera-like holding midfielder will see them come up short in their quest for top honours.

"[Santi] Cazorla is a fantastic player but I think they need someone to shut the gap - a holding midfielder in the style of Patrick Vieira to run the show. Sometimes they are a bit brittle and haven't got the mindset to last the whole season," Thomas told BBC Sport.

"I don't think they have the steel to win major trophies. Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City will go to the end and contest things.

"It's all about your mentality. I don't think Arsenal are hardened enough to win a title. It's down to Arsene Wenger to change that. They are always going to play great football, but there is something missing from the jigsaw."

Thomas made over 200 appearances during a seven-year spell with Arsenal, twice winning the old First Division title.

Patrick Vieira
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
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16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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