Rio Ferdinand: Arsenal lack winning mentality and are happy to be fourth

Rio Ferdinand has dismissed Arsenal's prospects of trophies this season and said the lack of a winning mentality is the reason the club's best players leave.

Arsene Wenger's side travel to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday after last week's defeat at Chelsea all but ended their hopes of a first Premier League title since 2004.

With questions growing over Wenger's future and star names including Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil having not committed to new contracts, a period of change appears increasingly likely.

Former Manchester United and England defender Ferdinand, now a football expert for BT Sport, said: "I think the mentality has not been there for a long time, and this team is no different to the team of six years ago.

"The best teams, like Chelsea, they get beaten and they come back straightaway. Everyone was saying they might have a wobble after losing at Tottenham, but they haven't lost since.

"I'm not a fan of Arsenal but the reason I always get the hump with them is that they frustrate the life out of me.

"They have so much talent, but it's never channelled the right way. It's never consistently put out there, and that's their problem."

Ferdinand cited Robin van Persie's decision to leave for United in 2012, following the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri to Barcelona and Manchester City, as evidence of the club's inability to keep top players happy.

"He left Arsenal Football Club to go somewhere to win, and he came to Man United. It's as simple as that," Ferdinand said.

"It tells you everything. Fabregas did the same. Is it happening again with Sanchez? Yeah, exactly. The best players in the world want to win things. It isn't about money."

During Ferdinand's 12-year spell at United, Arsenal were regular rivals in the race for honours, but the defender said that by the time of the 2009 Champions League semifinal win over the Gunners their weaknesses had become easier to exploit.

"In the early days, they were unbelievable games," he said. "You would have to win the fight first and then you could play your football.

"It wasn't until about 2007, '08, '09, '10 that we'd go there and our team talk revolved around outrun them, overpower them -- they don't want their feathers ruffled.

"They don't like it if you're aggressive, and that's the way we played against them.

"My team, we could adapt. We could be like that or we could play football. And that's probably one of the things this Arsenal team lack in the last few years.

"In that Champions League semifinal, we destroyed them. Overpowered them. Would we have been so confident and on the front foot going to Highbury against the earlier teams? I don't think so.

"Even the game we had the row in the tunnel, with [Patrick] Vieira, you knew straightaway this is going to be a hard game and it's going to be a fight. They had aggressive players with character.

"Arsenal have had some great players. They've had Fabregas, Van Persie. Sanchez now. Koscielny, for me, is one of the best two or three centre halves in the league. But it's about being able to get a team and not just the first 11."

Ferdinand said he believed Arsenal had become happy to settle for fourth position in the Premier League rather than seeing that as an underachievement.

"We have just got to understand that the club have got a remit and that is to finish in the top four, because that is what the last 10 years have told you," he said. "They finish in the top four and he [Wenger] gets a new contract.

"So the people who run Arsenal, their priority is obviously to finish in the top four and not necessarily winning. That is how it seems.

"Finishing in the top four will be success for United this year because of where they have been over the last few years.

"But with somebody like Jose Mourinho in charge, it will not be accepted year after year -- that's the difference."