ARSENAL legend Ray Parlour has told boss Mikel Arteta he must get rid of the “dead wood” at the club – and admits he fears the Gunners are being left behind.
The North Londoners have not won the Premier League title since the Invincibles season of 2003/04.
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Parlour, a midfielder in that illustrious side, thinks the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are way ahead of the Gunners.
And the Gunners favourite believes they are being overtaken by the likes of Wolves and Leicester.
He said: ““Arsenal need to get back into the Champions League by spending more money and taking more of a gamble as a club.
“Arteta has done everything right so far, but now it is up to the club to back him.
“The lower you get and the more ambition the other teams get then it is going to be difficult for Arsenal to challenge again.”
Parlour, 47, does not believe keeping the likes of Brazilian ex-Chelsea defender David Luiz is the answer.
The centre-half was handed a new one-year deal by Arteta this week.
Parlour said: “He makes too many mistakes and at 33 he is not going to learn.
“You have to look a little bit higher than David Luiz.
“He could be a squad player and you could play him as a holding midfielder.
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“He has got a range of passing and you know if you make a mistakes there you have centre-halves behind you, that could be a role for him.”
There are huge question marks about Arsenal’s future, with the club floundering down in ninth and 11 points off the top four.
Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubayemang is set to be sold this summer and Arteta, appointed in December, faces a huge rebuilding job.