FORMER Arsenal striker Robin van Persie has warned it will take "years" to fix the club's problems.
The Dutch striker, who played nearly 300 games before jumping ship to Manchester United, says the club needs a different breed of defenders.
Arsenal narrowly scraped past Sheffield United to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
The Gunners conceded a horror goal with just three minutes to play, David McGoldrick pouncing on a loose ball after an awful mix up from a long throw.
Dani Ceballos was Mikel Arteta's saviour, firing in from close range a minute into injury time.
But despite the win, Van Persie offered a scathing assessment of the performance and the club in general.
He told BT Sport: "You can see [Arteta's] hand on this team. But you can that this team is not fully connected yet.
"If you look at the connection from defence to midfield to strikers, they are not connected, they are not moving as one.
"He is still searching, but I do believe that if you give him time – and he should have all the time he needs, not just months, he should get years – I do believe that he can get it right."
He added: "The they should now finally find a way to fix set pieces against, corners against, free-kicks, crosses.
"It’s like every cross against Arsenal, you are holding your breath, it’s almost a goal, almost a goal.
"How do you fix that? You fix it with mental toughness.
"As you know Rio [Ferdinand], when I played with you, with [Nemanja Vidic], you will die to stop the ball. You will put your head first, you will put everything to block a ball.
"That mentality is needed to really compete for trophies.
"And if I’m really honest I don’t really see that at the moment. And that’s not just now, we’ve talked about it for the last few months, we walked about it last year.
"That was even an issue during my time of playing there.
"How do you solve that? You need to find true defenders who want to do everything to block that ball. They should find those type of defenders.
"I’m not saying these guys are bad, these guys are very good players, but there’s another level up if you really want to compete and win trophies."
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