Former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna said Arsenal players used to feel inferior compared to Chelsea’s stars.
The 37-year-old, who now plays for MLS side Montreal Impact, spent seven years as an Arsenal player.
He later joined Manchester City in 2014 and stayed there for three seasons.
Sagna won the FA Cup and the League Cup during his Premier League career, but not the league title itself.
The French international came close to Premier League glory with Arsenal in 2010/11 – just one point behind the league leaders Manchester City by one point in February – but a poor run in March and April ended their title hopes as they finished fourth.
Sagna thinks it was mostly because they struggled in big games, including against Chelsea.
He told Arsenal’s In Lockdown podcast: “I believe we under-evaluated ourselves. Playing for Chelsea image-wise was something different.
“They used their image a lot, they used to have some big players in the national team and we used to talk about them more than they talked about us.
“Maybe in our heads, they were bigger players than us. On the pitch, we had as much quality as they had whenever we played, and when we played the Arsenal way nobody could beat us.
“I believed nobody could beat us. We used to play simple passes, one, two-touches maximum. But I believe we under-evaluated ourselves which is a big mistake in life.”