Renaissance Man

Arsenal's squad lacks balance, says Seedorf

Last Updated: 15/02/12 5:13pm

Arsenal must sign more experienced players in the summer if they want to consistently challenge for silverware, according to AC Milan's Clarence Seedorf.

"The only criticism you could make of Wenger is that he hasn't combined experience with the young players."

Clarence Seedorf

Quotes of the week

The 35-year-old - the most decorated player in Champions League history, having won the competition four times - told Special Report that the Gunners currently have too few senior role-models in their squad.

Milan welcome Arsenal to the San Siro for the first of two legs on Wednesday in the last 16 of the Champions League and Seedorf thinks they must be wary of the Gunners - even if, in his view, their form has been patchy this season.

"Arsenal is a very unpredictable team to play against," said Seedorf. "If you look at their performances during the year - sometimes they play against the big teams like Chelsea and win 5-3, the next week they will lose against a 'smaller' team. It's really a little part of their DNA.

"But we know because of this that we need to be very respectful of their qualities because they are capable of winning against anybody.

"People are always entertained when they got to see Arsenal. They haven't won as much as they could have done but I think that Arsene Wenger is a great coach.

"The only criticism you could make of him is that he hasn't combined experience with the young players. I think he needs a few more experienced players in the squad to balance that with the young guys to cope with those difficult moments I spoke about."

Adventure

Seedorf may be in the third trimester of his football career, but he still thinks he'll be able to play on at the top level after his contract expires this summer - and hasn't ruled out signing for a team in the UK.

"I'm quite bothered by the fact they [the media] talk about older players," he said, "[when they mean] more experienced players because you have 28-year-old guys who are old.

"Ryan Giggs - what is he, 38, 39 now? Paul Scholes came back and for me Scholes should never have stopped. He was performing well enough. I see many players who are now 34, 35 - just because of their age they are not considered any more as they should be.

"I'm very regular in my nutrition in general; I don't drink, I don't smoke and that helps, I think, for your mechanism. I'm not really into sweets and stuff. I like fish a lot and pasta and specific sports food before training. For me there are no sacrifices; it's a habit.

"The start of the season has always given me the same sensation and feeling - to go out there and go for the cups. That's what you need. The moment that is a little bit gone, you need to think about changing.

"I like adventure. I am definitely open to new things. The UK has always been a place I'd love to play; it didn't happen for whatever reason. Everything can happen. There are very good clubs in the UK, from Manchester United to Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal."

On next week's Special Report...

...we're with Olympic hopeful and Sky Sports Scholar Perri Shakes-Drayton as she goes cold weather training in the shadow of the Olympic Park.