Arsenal legend Alan Smith has echoed Thierry Henry's comments and questioned his former team's mental strength to fight their way to winning their first Premier League title in over a decade. The Gunners are five points behind league leaders Leicester City, whom they face on Sunday (14 February) at the Emirates Stadium in a game that could have strong bearing in the title race.
The Foxes have surprised everybody with their run in the Premier League, and after starting the year as joint leaders with the north London club, they are now five points clear of the chasing pack. Arsene Wenger's team, on the other hand, have faltered and struggled to keep pace and their 2-0 win over Bournemouth on Sunday (7 February) was their first win in four games, which saw them pick up just three points that included a 1-0 loss to Chelsea.
The former striker has questioned Arsenal's ability to get over the line in crunch clashes, as they have difficult away trips to Manchester United, Tottenham and Manchester City before the end of the season. Smith believes a win over Leicester will give the Gunners much-needed confidence going into the most crucial part of the season.
"The jury is still out. They have a really poor record in terms of staying at the top at the end of seasons. Part of that is the squad has not been strong enough, and it's partly down to mental weakness too," Smith told Sky Sports.
"There has been a psychological barrier and we've seen that twice against Chelsea this season. They just can't get over the line against their London rivals."
"As a wider issue — are they mentally strong enough now to push on, to beat Leicester on Sunday, and to push on again during the difficult away games to come? Are they strong enough to get their talent across? That's still the big question for me," the former Arsenal striker added.