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Smith credits candid Mertesacker

Alan Smith has credited Arsenal's Per Mertesacker for speaking candidly about the mental and physical "burden" professional football can bring. The 33-year-old defender, who is set to become Arsenal's new academy manager for the 2018/19 season, spoke of the "intense pressure" involved and admitted he would rather not have to play again before his retirement. Mertesacker said: "Some days you realise that everything is a burden, both physically and mentally... but you have to deliver without a doubt, even if you are injured." Former striker Smith, who made 264 appearances for Arsenal, says players facing similar problems as Mertesacker in their careers is not...
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