The Gunners hoisted themselves above Manchester United and into third place courtesy of an edgy 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Arsenal have very pretty players but there are not ‘killers’ in this team
While Arsenal are thriving thanks to the form of Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in recent weeks, many critics continue to highlight the lack of a world-class defensive midfielder.
Petit played alongside one of Arsenal’s greats like Tony Adams and Martin Keown during his spell at Highbury, and the former France international believes Wenger’s 1998 double-winning side were more versatile than the current crop.
“You have to remember the defence that we had,” Petit told the Mirror.
“You could rely on Seaman, Adams, Keown, etc. We knew how to travel. When we had to play, we knew how to do that too. I remember one away game at Wimbledon where Tony Adams came to say to me: ‘Today, Manu, forget the football. It’s war’. We knew how to adapt because we only wanted one thing: to win.
“Let’s say that the Barcelona of keeping the ball has overtaken that style. But today, you have to be more direct and pragmatic. You see that with Germany or Real Madrid. Arsenal have very pretty players but there are not ‘killers’ in this team. At that time, we were tough, we did not play to look good.”
Arsenal are set to face Monaco in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Gunners have reached the last-eight since 2010 after second-round losses to Barcelona, AC Milan and Bayern Munich over the past four seasons.
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