Alan Smith claims Arsenal have a "mental block" that prevents them from winning trophies.

Published 25/11/16 

Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith has claimed that Arsene Wenger's side have a "mental block" that prevents them from winning trophies.

The Gunners are once again on course to finish second in their Champions League group following a 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, while back-to-back draws in the Premier League have seen them drop down to fourth place.

Smith does not believe that Arsenal will win either competition this season, and asked particular questions of the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in the big games.

"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 told Sky Sports News.

"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. Arsenal got lucky last night, with the penalty decision and the own goal, and they still don't take advantage of it. The problem for Arsenal is that Mesut Ozil is a superstar footballer, so is Alexis Sanchez, but in the big games they hardly turn up.

"Man Utd and PSG did enough to suffocate the space of Ozil, and they didn't get any fluency. The problem at the moment is that because Arsenal think they are not losing games that they may have lost in the last few years, and are instead getting draws, they think that's a mental achievement, but it's not. Arsenal have to win football matches."

Arsenal will host Bournemouth on Sunday looking to end a three-match winless streak.

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