Gunners manager Arsene Wenger branded Merson “a joke” after the former midfielder hit out at the north London side’s performance during their 3-3 draw with Anderlecht on Tuesday.
It is the ability to see out a match and game management that Arsenal still can’t seem to grasp
However, ex-Arsenal striker Smith feels Wenger’s side consistently fail to see out games despite the manager improving his attacking options over the summer.
“Wenger is clearly a little bit upset about the criticism,” Smith told Sky Sports.
“But he criticised the defending in his post-match interview, saying they were really poor from first to last.
“So you have to expect us, employed on the other side of the fence watching it, to be quite critical.
“It was really poor. It isn’t the first time it has happened.
“For Arsenal fans it is so frustrating because they have made improvements going forward.
“Danny Welbeck has offered them something different, obviously Sanchez has been a revelation.
“It is the ability to see out a match and game management that Arsenal still can’t seem to grasp.
“When you look at the experience of the team, it shouldn’t be the case.”
Arsenal can move into the top four with victory over Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news