Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla said that his former club was unable to win the top prizes towards the end of Wenger’s reign due to a lack of belief.
While the first decade of Arsene Wenger’s reign was littered with titles and sublime teams, his latter years became a tale of ‘almost’ and middling.
Cazorla who won 3 FA Cup titles with Arsenal said that the team had an inferiority complex that barred them from winning.
Speaking to BBC’s Football Focus, Cazorla said: “We needed to believe in ourselves more.
“To believe that we were capable of competing with the big sides in the Premier League and not just settling for third or fourth.”
Cazorla was much loved by the Arsenal faithful, unfortunately, his final years at the Emirates were marred by a nasty injury that almost required amputation.
“We needed to have made that leap to try and battle it out for the title. There were seasons where you felt like we were in with a shout but then through various circumstances it wasn’t to be.
“But I think it’s all about having that self-belief, that right mentality. To say ‘we believe in this team, we know we have a great squad and we can go toe to toe with the big English clubs.’
“I believe that they will do that and for sure they will keep on improving in the future. They are going to have a great season, they have a great team and I wish them all the best.” Cazorla added.
The Spaniard is confident, however, that Unai Emery can change the mentality of the team, he also claimed that he gave his fellow countryman all the information he could about the club and backed him to help the team achieve its potential
“I think it’s a club that can improve quite a few things.
“I gave him all the information I could to try and help him out during his period of settling in and I think he’s very happy and I think he’s a great manager for Arsenal.
“But everyone really does have to be patient, when you think you’ve had the same manager for 23 years [sic], a manager who became a real symbol for the club on a worldwide scale and the fans have to show a little patience with Unai, and the team because there has been a lot of changes.
“I believe that if they do things in the right manner, Arsenal have everything required to be a massive club. I’m sure that in the coming seasons Arsenal will be making that step up in quality which will hopefully enable them to be on a level playing field and able to fight for the title and other big trophies.”