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'My goal output just fell off a cliff'

Alan Smith

Alan Smith had always been used to hitting the back of the net - so when the goals dried up, it was wasn't easy for our former number nine.

Speaking exclusively to our 'In Lockdown' podcast, Smith explained how his poor form affected his self-belief towards the end of his career.
 
"My confidence gradually dipped to the point where it was on the floor," he said. "My goal output fell off a cliff, which was so upsetting having been a regular goalscorer for all those years before.

 
"It was a miserable time. Not only was I going into matches with very little confidence, snatching at chances, but in training too. It had become a bit of a chore. I went to see a sports psychologist and he gave me one or two pointers, but it didn't work. 
 
"I think now you'd give it a lot more attention. I didn't really speak to the gaffer about it, he must have wondered what was going on. He'd drop you and he'd urge you to do better, but you'd never really have a heart to heart in a human way, in the way that perhaps you would now. 
 
"We look at the mental health side of things a lot more [now]. I just regret that I wasn't able to fix it and I didn't do better in that regard. My career kind of dribbled to a close in that fashion. 
 
“Thankfully the Cup Winners Cup [in 1994] was a highlight in the middle of it. People say you shouldn't have regrets, but I can't help but regret that time when I couldn't fix it and I wasn't enjoying my football at all. It is upsetting to look back on.
 
"It's easy to look elsewhere and blame other things. We weren't playing with as much width, it was a more direct game, Wrighty making runs over the top. I think I looked elsewhere too much for a solution, you know? The crosses aren't coming in, this that and the other. You've got to look in the mirror and think, 'How can I fix this? What can I do?' Maybe I didn't do that enough, I don't know."

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'No one gave us a chance, but it was magnificent'

Kevin Campbell

After beating Standard Liege, Torino and Paris Saint-Germain, we faced Parma in the 1994 Cup Winners' Cup final in Denmark.

Speaking exclusively to our 'In Lockdown' podcast, Kevin Campbell recounted our journey to the final and how we came out on top with a weakened team.
 
"We knew it would be nip and tuck with [Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-final]," he said. "The quality they had, we felt we should have been ahead from the first leg and we were ahead, but they pegged us back. We knew if we could get ourselves ahead at Highbury then we could defend well enough to see it out.

 
"I wasn't even supposed to be playing, I think Merse got injured just before. He wasn't well before the game and I ended up playing and the football gods, that's the way they work, don't they? It comes up, Lee Dixon swings the cross in, I get a header on target and luckily it hits the back of the net and we end up winning the game 1-0.
 
"But again, Wrighty gets booked in that game, he can't play in the final, he has a little bit of a meltdown at half-time and he's going crazy. We have to calm him down, George Graham has to calm him down, but we go out there and do the business.
 
"[The final in] Copenhagen was magnificent for us, we had virtually half a team going out there. No one gave us a chance against a really, really top Parma team with some world-class talent, but that was what we were about.
 
“We were about defeating the odds and it was just typical Arsenal. We go there and I was so pleased for Alan Smith to not only play, but to get a goal like he did. That was a goal worthy of winning any cup final."

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