Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has claimed that Arsene Wenger’s side have a mental block that prevents them from winning trophies, as per Sky Sports.
The North London club are once again on course to finish second in their Champions League group following a 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night.
The Gunners have started the League season in a great fashion but the consecutive draws against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United have taken the steam out of their impressive early start.
Smith insists that the Emirates club will never face a crisis as they have too many good players, but the 54-year-old believes that it’s the same old mistakes that may well end up leaving the club empty-handed when it comes to May.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said:
There’s never going to be a full-blown crisis at Arsenal because they’ve got too many players to win games and stay at a level, as in top four. But it’s going that extra step.
And we were hoping this year that they can go that extra step, but it’s that mental approach, that psychological barrier that prevents them from doing that.
He further added:
Things aren’t going to be any better in the Champions League this season, they’re not going to win it, and I don’t think they’re going to win the league, so they’re in a very similar position to what they have been in recent seasons.
It’s not a disaster to finish second to PSG, I think we’ve got to get that right, because PSG are a very good side and they showed that last night at the Emirates. Arsenal have got history of finishing second and suffering.
There has long been a criticism hanging over the squad regarding their winning mentality. Under Arsene Wenger, since the departure of much of the experienced, established members of the squad, the Gunners have not been able to cultivate the winning culture. Arsenal have scored numerous late goals this season, eeking out points in the Premier League that the performance does not merit.
However, they let a lead slip against Paris Saint-Germain, likely resigning them to second place in the group and a far greater probability of a tougher draw come the knockout stages
The squad has shown has a steelier edge this season than in previous years. Some may interpret Smith’s comments as being overly harsh, but he does make valid points. While it certainly is a positive that Arsenal are showing more solidity and steel this season, unless they overcome their mental barrier of believing in themselves to go all the way in big competitions. Is Smith right about Arsenal’s problems being in the mind?
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