Thierry Henry has labelled Arsenal a “mid-table” team and suggested they are “nowhere near” competing for Premier League titles.
The legendary Frenchman was the driving force behind one of the most successful eras in the club’s history, netting 175 Premier League goals during his two spells.
Henry won two titles during his stay in north London, including The Invincibles season in 2003/04.
That’s the last time the Gunners have topped the pile however, with the latest Arsenal side some way off the successes of that side.
Mikel Arteta could only guide the current Arsenal team to an eighth placed finish, as they missed out on the European places for the first time in 25 years.
And Henry, speaking to beIN Sports, has warned supporters it could be a long wait before they are truly competing for the Premier League crown again.
“I don’t like to compare eras, people do and I understand that, it’s a different generation, a different time, different technology, they have different views of the game, different preparations and different ways,” he explained.
“The team hasn’t been successful recently, obviously winning cups along the way, but nowhere near the level of trying to compete for the title.
“But you can say the same for a lot of teams. You see Liverpool wait 30 years to win the title, it takes time, even for great teams.
“So hopefully Arsenal can come back and compete, because at the end of the day there’s only going to be one winner, but at least try and compete.”
Asked if a new striker could be the difference for Arteta, Henry continued: “Goals can come from anywhere, as Man City showed us this season.
“When you look at it, who would have said City would win the league without Aguero?
“So I think if you have a certain style you can share goals. It doesn’t always have to be the No.9 that has to deliver the goals in the modern game.
“When you look at the Arsenal team, is it a better squad than West Ham? I would say yes.
“Is it better than Leicesters? I would like to say yes, but then Leicester are still ahead.
“It is capable of finishing in the higher positions, although you don’t have the squad of Man City or Chelsea or United.”
While he doesn’t believe a forward would automatically change their fortunes, he is adamant that the missing component is being able to replicate good performances on a more regular basis.
He added: “Consistency, when you look at Arsenal’s squad right now, on a good day they can beat anybody, but on a bad day they can lose to anybody.
“That’s why they find themselves in the situation they are in right now. They are a mid-table team because that’s what happened – some days yes and some days no.
“It’s painful to watch as an Arsenal fan, but consistency is very key.”