Alan Smith believes the jury is still out on his former team, Arsenal.
Speaking ahead of our big match against Leicester on Sunday, the former Gunner admitted that he’s not entirely convinced by our performances so far this season and that we really need to beat the Foxes to prove ourselves.
“Arsenal have got to make sure they’re at it for the big occasions, and this is a huge occasion,” he said.
“It could be a defining moment of their season.
“If they can come through it, then they’re going to have great confidence for the remainder of the season.”
He added, “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.
“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 match on Sunday isn’t just a test for us as a team, but also us as fans. We currently sit level with Spurs on points, five behind Leicester at the top of the table. A loss could be disastrous. As dramatic as that sounds, it will leave us eight points behind and we could see ourselves drop further down the table at a point in the season where we should be thinking about the home straight.
A win, on the other hand, will instill some faith in the team and fans. We know we can do this, we just have to execute it.