Vieira fears Arsenal stars may leave

Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira fears the Gunners’ star players will leave the club if they continue their trophyless spell.

The Gunners will record their sixth consecutive season without silverware if they fail to win the Premier League, the only competition they still have a chance in.

Arsene Wenger's men trail league leaders Manchester United by seven points following the Red Devils' goalless draw at Newcastle United on Tuesday, meaning Arsenal must win the North London derby at Tottenham Hotspur to retain any slim hopes they still have of catching Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

Vieira, now at rivals Manchester City, has voiced his concerns over his old club's barren spell, and believes it could lead to the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie leaving Emirates Stadium in a bid to find success.

"The problem is the important players like Fabregas and Van Persie will end up asking themselves questions," he said.

The Frenchman also went on to criticise the current crop, saying while they are entertaining to watch, they aren’t physically strong enough and do not display a willingness to put their bodies on the line.

"I love watching them play and the Arsenal players are doing the right things but you have to add something to that - notably in physical impact," he said.

"In my day [Tony] Adams, [Martin] Keown, [Nigel] Winterburn or [Ray] Parlour might have had less quality but they would put their heads where others wouldn't put their feet.

"Arsenal don't yet have United's killer mentality. They often need three or four goals to win a match.”

Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona and the FA Cup by Manchester United, while in arguably their best chance of silverware, the League Cup, Wenger’s men were beaten by underdogs Birmingham City in the final at Wembley.

By Steve Norman