Patrick Vieira has stepped up his bid to leave Arsenal with an amazing attack on the club’s board, his team-mates and Arsene Wenger’s summer signings.
The Frenchman insists that he wants a fresh challenge and the chance to win things, dismissing the Gunners as also-rans among Europe’s elite.
Indeed, the 25-year-old believes that Arsenal will even struggle to make an impression on the domestic scene next season.
Vieira said: ‘‘People should know this is nothing to do with money.
‘‘I need to leave because I want to win more trophies and I just cannot see that happening at Arsenal. Certainly not over the next few years, anyway.
‘‘Comparing Arsenal to the big clubs in Europe this season is going to be quite ridiculous.
‘‘I do not honestly see Arsenal finishing in the top five in the league - and you can forget the Champions League.’’
It is thought that Arsenal hoped to keep their star player happy by launching a summer blitz on the transfer market.
However, Vieira sees nothing to be excited about in the arrival of Francis Jeffers, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and probably Richard Wright.
‘‘When I told Arsene Wenger I was leaving, he said to me ’I have £25million to spend on a few players’.
‘‘My answer was ’Obviously, Mr Wenger, you are not shopping in Harrods. That will only buy you one good player.’ Now I have been proved right.
‘‘Arsene Wenger has signed two ’hopeful’ players who haven’t proved themselves in the Premiership yet. One of them is a boy of 20.
‘‘You can’t compete with the best clubs in Europe by making these kind of signings.
‘‘Arsene Wenger is an ambitious manager and he knows deep in his heart that he needs five world-class players to compete among the best in Europe.
‘‘With £25m in the kitty, Arsenal is not a great European club. With that budget they won’t even be among the top 20 clubs in Europe.’’
Fellow Frenchmen Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Sylvain Wiltord and Gilles Grimandi have urged Vieira to remain at Highbury, but the midfield powerhouse has dismissed their pleas.
He declared: ‘‘I have given 100 per cent to Arsenal over the last five years. They have only been there for a year or so.
‘‘They have won nothing with Arsenal. They should stay and try to win things for the club before they open their mouths.
‘‘My message to these players is that they have their lives and I have mine.’’