Alan Smith: Arsenal face a mental challenge to win the Premier League

Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith feels it's a case of the Gunners believing they can win the Premier League this season.

Former Arsenal forward Alan Smith told the Daily Telegraph that he feels the test over whether his old team can win the title this season will be a mental one.

Smith claims there is a real expectation related to the Gunners as they go in pursuit of the league title, with the early signs from pre-season good, especially with a win over Chelsea in the Community Shield.

However, whether Arsene Wenger can get his players to genuinely believe that they can win the league will be the big test.

“Hopes have not been this high for a decade thanks to the signing of Petr Cech, a deep pool of attacking talent and a pre-season that has witnessed some wonderful football. Now we wait to see if there is enough belief and mental strength to do the rest,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

Experience will be crucial

The experience of players like Petr Cech, Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta among others is going to be vital.

Someone like Cech knows what’s needed for a side to win the Premier League title in the modern era and he will be vital in terms of convincing his Arsenal teammates that it’s possible.

It’s also very important that Wenger is making the right noises during difficult spells of the season, which have tripped the Gunners up in the recent past.

The real test for the Gunners is likely to be how they hold their nerve if they get into a position where they are opening up a gap over Chelsea and Manchester City among others.

Mind games and different sets of tactics are things that the club will have to deal with and if they do so effectively, there’s no reason the club can’t lift the title.

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