Former Gunner says Arsenal’s BIG problem is mental

Apart from at the start of the season when Arsenal took just one point from the first two games, there has not been too much talk about the problems facing Arsene Wenger and his team and the reasons why we always seem to blow it, whether that is having a poor run of games in the Premier League that sees a title challenge falter or just failing to win the Champions League group and going out on away goals in the first knockout stage.

After the recent run from Arsenal, however, which has predictably enough come in the testy month of November, the questions are being raised again. While some will point to bad luck, as it is those pesky away goals that look like costing us top spot in Europe to PSG, and some will point to the injury problems keeping key players like Cazorla and Bellerin out of the team, our former striker Alan Smith has another theory.

Smith knows what it is like to be under great pressure to win the title as it was 18 years since Arsenal had been champions and it looked like we had blown a great chance when we went to Liverpool on the last day needing to win by two goals, but he scored the first and then Michael Thomas scored late on to secure the title, as immortalised in the file Fever Pitch.

He reckons that the current Arsenal side are being held back by a mental barrier and until the boss and the players find a way to get around it then those major trophy goals of the Premier League and Champions League are going to keep eluding us, a Sky Sports report explains.

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.

“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. They’re not in the best of form, the Manchester United performance was shockingly poor in many ways.

“They didn’t turn up. Why? Wenger said afterwards: ‘Have my players got a mental block about playing at Old Trafford?’

“I mean if the manager is thinking that then you have got problems. There is something still missing.”

Is Smith right about Arsenal’s problems being in the mind? And what can be done to sort it out?



  1. Break-on-through says:

    I said similar about our mentality in an earlier article. I have to agree with Smithy. The way we were intent on ending che dominance, that’s how we should have approached this whole month.

  2. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Without Cazorla and Bellerin we play very poorly
    Part of it is mental but our backup to Bellerin is poor
    RB was something I was worried about all summer
    Jenkinson has been put in the deep end. I feel for him

    Also, We shouldn’t have started Eleney and Ramsey in recent matches over Xhaka
    We spent over £30 mil for him. He is a quality player
    Eleney and Ramsey have been quite average recently

  3. dragunov762mm says:

    November somehow have been our jinx for years. This period is not the very bad of those, not yet. Arsene’s selection at CF and midfielders will determine our next result. Whether is gonna be Alexis or Giroud as CF depend on which opponents. But our axis in the middle, should be Coquelin and Xhaka, no question. These guys are our best choice when Santi out for injure. How many matches for Arsene to find out? I hope it’s not to late.

  4. Ramterta says:

    you cant win games with average players.
    At the moment both fullback positions are weak points central midfield is also poor .
    Walcott has become his true average self

  5. Ramterta says:

    Bar ospina I am struggling to pick amy positives from the

  6. Ramterta says:

    Bar ospina and slightly ramsey I am struggling to pick any positives from the psg game.
    It once again shows how far behind we have fallen from when we used to be an elite team and how far we have to go to even consider ourselves title challengers

  7. Tatek Girma says:

    For sure, it is true. Not only the players’ mental strength, I doubt the manager’s too especially in his players selection and tactical choice decision.

  8. Incarnate says:

    Even the invincibles had a mental block in Europe lol. Couldn’t get past the quaters for donkey years, Valencia showed knocked us out twice in three years, even pre mourinho chelski did a number on us, not until Henry With his amiable brand of Arrogance led us to the final in 2006… we need steel and arrogance, players with an undying and unwavering belief in their own abilities… Petr Cech, Francis Coquelin, Skhodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny, Hector Bellerin all come to mind here, Xhaka too and possibly with a dash of arrogance but that has to be matched by ability too.

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