'They are happy with fourth and lack a winning mentality' - Ferdinand slams 'frustrating' Arsenal

Rio Ferdinand
The former defender also believes that players leave the Gunners in order to win things, citing Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas as examples

Rio Ferdinand has hit out at Arsenal, claiming the club are happy to finish fourth and that winning the title is no longer their priority.

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Arsene Wenger’s side saw their title hopes all but disappear with defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend although they recovered to beat Hull City 2-0 on Saturday.

The Gunners’ last title came back in 2004 and Ferdinand says the club no longer focus on topping the table.

“The club have got a remit and that is to finish in the top four, it seems, because that is what the last 10 years have told you,” he told BT Sport.

“They finish in the top four and he [Wenger] gets a new contract. So, the priority of the people that run Arsenal is obviously to finish in the top four and not necessarily winning.

“That is how it seems. They’ll be happy. That’s been the way it has been. History tells you that’s the way it goes.”

The futures of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are uncertain with the duo yet to agree contract extensions and Ferdinand feels there is reason to believe they will leave.

“You don’t even have to write the article. If you just say Robin van Persie, that’s it. He left Arsenal football club to go somewhere to win And he came to Manchester United,” he added.

“It’s as simple as that. Tells you everything. Cesc Fabregas done the same. The best players in the world want to win things. It's not about money. The best players want to win.”

Alexis Sanchez

Ferdinand feels that Arsenal, in recent years, have lacked the winning mentality that characterised Wenger's earlier sides.

“In the days of Manchester United and Arsenal rivalry, they were unbelievable games,” he explained.

“When we went to Highbury and then we went to The Emirates, you would have to fight. You would have to win the fight first and then you could play your football. But it was never a given that you were going to go there and win.

“That mentality has not been there for a long time and this team is no different to the team six years ago in terms of mentality. You’re in a good position to strike and really make a go of it in the league and you have a week or two off.

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"The best teams, like Chelsea, they get beat [by Tottenham] and come back straightaway. Everyone is saying, they might have a wobble but they haven’t lost since then.

“The reason I always get the hump with Arsenal is that they frustrate the life out of me.

“They’ve got so much talent but it’s never channelled the right way. It’s never consistently put out there, week in, week out and that’s their problem.”