Former Arsenal defender Lee Dixon fears the Gunners lack the drive to end their Premier League title drought.
The former Gunners defender also believes bitter rivals Tottenham have the determination needed.
Arsene Wenger’s team have not won the Premier League since 2004 despite consistently having one of English football’s most talented sides and this season lie sixth in the table – 12 points off the pace.
Increasing the negativity surrounding their decline is the significant improvement shown by neighbours Spurs, who could yet prove the greatest threat to leaders Manchester City.
Dixon succeeded with Arsenal in different teams that also showed the desire he considers necessary and believes that because it is now absent that that wait will go on.
“When you look at where Arsenal are right now: are they close to winning the league? They’re not, in all honesty, and that needs to be looked at,” said the 53-year-old.
“Why is that? They’ve got players with a huge amount of talent. Have they got the desire, drive, determination that Tottenham have got right now? I’d suggest they haven’t.
“Tottenham are in a position where they’ve got to a stage in their development under an excellent manager in (Mauricio) Pochettino where they feel as if they can win every single game.
“They’ve got an energy and a drive and a determination and desire that I’d say is second to none in the league, so they’re up there with the best teams and it’s just a matter of time before they go on and challenge – seriously, they have done for the last few years but seriously – for the league title.
“Manchester City are seemingly running away with it at the moment, but I believe they’ll go very close.”
David O’Leary was among Dixon’s team-mates in George Graham’s fondly-remembered and successful team, and his concern is that unlike then and at other times Arsenal have excelled, they lack a “spine”.
“All the best teams have a top-class goalkeeper, top-class centre-back, a midfield player, right through to the centre-forward,” the 59-year-old told PA Sport.
“I don’t think any team wins anything with a poor defence; if you’re solid at the back you’ve always got a chance. Any successful team needs a spine.
“I’d like to see them have a real, real dominant centre-half – a top-class one – I’d love to see them have another great midfield player.
“What I’ve seen, as a goalscorer, (Alexandre) Lacazette looks a real, top-class goalscorer. I haven’t seen enough of him yet, but from what I’ve seen of him in the box, when he has a chance, he looks a threat.
“It’s important to get back into the Champions League. Since he (Wenger) has come there he’s achieved that, made the top four a big thing, and it’s a big blow they’re out of it.
“It’ll be a big thing – a big ask – and a big must for them to get back into that by the end of the season.”