Premier League

Pires offers Wenger advice

Former star feels inexperienced Arsenal lack English grit

Pires: Frenchman moved to Arsenal from Marseille in 2000 and is now with Villa

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Arsenal legend Robert Pires believes former boss Arsene Wenger needs to add an English backbone to his current side.

Pires returns to Arsenal with Aston Villa on Sunday, five years after leaving the club where he spent six glorious seasons in which he made almost 300 appearances.

Arsenal, who will end up empty-handed again this season, are now without a trophy in six years and Pires believes Wenger must adopt a new approach.

"To me there are two things - one is that they are too young and now he needs more English players in the team," the 37-year-old said.

"You need the mix. You need English players because they have the experience of the Premier League.


"Then mix that with the French, the Spanish, the Germans and so on. But he has taken his direction and philosophy. That's his opinion. I respect it."

However, former France international and World Cup winner Pires, now under the guidance of compatriot Gerard Houllier, insists Wenger will deliver the goods again.

"Wenger can bring trophies to Arsenal. I hope so as he's a good manager. No-one can say otherwise," he added.

"I understand why the fans are upset and frustrated. Arsenal are a good team with good players.

"But when you're the Arsenal boss, it's normal you are under pressure from the Press and fans - but at the start of the season he knows what is expected of him."