“Of course I am convinced. We have not started very well but we never had the squad together since the start of the season.
“It was a post- World Cup start. I think we have what is requested to do it. We have to fight like mad now to come back as much as possible to show we can compete in every game.
“We have fought many times for the title. People always remember who won it but the fight has been very tight for long periods in the last nine years.
“We have a big competition in England, we have to accept that. The Premier League level goes always up and this season Chelsea has started very well. They will be difficult to catch but everybody will fight to come back.”
This was Arsene Wenger’s response when quizzed on whether or not he could win another Premier League title with Arsenal before his contract ends in 2017. While some fans may be having a chuckle at the Frenchman’s ambition – the Gunners have not lifted English football’s top prize since 2004 – we think that he may NOT be talking broken biscuits. And here are FIVE reasons why…
Alexis Sanchez is the real deal. Arsenal paid big for the Chilean over the summer – beating rivals Liverpool to him – and the gamble looks to have paid off. Industrious, energetic and fiery, the former Barcelona man has all the characteristics some forward talents fail to combine with superb attacking ability, and he seems perfectly suited to Premier League football.
Every top team needs a talismanic talent, and Sanchez could be just that for the Gunners over the course of the coming years.
The Emirates Stadium may be one of the best stadia in England, but, financially speaking, it’s been a ball and chain for Arsenal in recent years. While other clubs around them having been paying mega money for top players, the Gunners have been balancing the books and levelling off the debt incurred by building the facility. But, at long last, the bills have been sorted, and the money previously used is now available for players, just in time for Financial Fair Play to become a major factor. Now the Londoners are perfectly set up to bring in vast pots of cash and comply with UEFA’s regulations. Good work.
Building on the last point, Arsenal are now in the perfect position to bring in a top class striker. Since Robin van Persie’s controversial move to Manchester United, the Gunners have been without a truly talismanic forward. Olivier Giroud is decent target man, Danny Welbeck is promising and Yaya Sanogo… well, he’s scored his first competitive goal!
With cash to splash, Wenger may be able to compete with the likes of United, Chelsea and Man City for players such as Edinson Cavani, who would significantly build on the threat the club pose in the final third. They may also be able to buy a centre-back, too!
Lasts season’s FA Cup ended the massive nine-year wait for a major trophy at Arsenal. The Gunners’ lack of pots and pride in finishing fourth every season – Champions League qualification is no mean feat by the way – had become a long-running joke among opposition fans, who mocked Wenger’s perceived lack of ambition on a weekly basis. In some ways the hoodoo had become a self-fulfilling prophecy as the years went by, so blowing the long anticipated trophy wait to smithereens may be the turning point needed, with a sense of belief sure to have been bred into players who had, previously, enjoyed little success on the very biggest stage.
Arsenal’s starting XI, barring the back four, is remarkably strong considering their vast quantity of injured stars. Club record signing, Mesut Ozil, midfield star, Jack Wilshere and both senior goalkeepers, Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina, are on the physios’ tables right now, which is a major headache for Wenger. When they all return, the Frenchman’s squad will be one of the better ones around, and possess the depth to make a sustained title push.