Many of us Arsenal fans have been here before over the last 10 years, only for something like all the injury problems and our heavy losses in some big away games of two years ago to come along and leave the latest challenge for the Premier League trophy in tatters.
Up until this season, however, there has been very little in the way of confidence from the football media, no matter how well the Gunners had been playing or what position in the table we were occupying. For some reason that has changed this season, despite the widespread disagreement with Arsene Wenger´s summer transfer business, or lack of it.
Maybe it is the one transfer the boss did complete that has helped to convince others of Arsenal´s title credentials, as that is one of the reasons put forward by former Gunners star Robert Pires. The Frenchman has spoken to The Guardian about his own belief that Arsenal can do it this time. He also gave a few key factors giving him this confidence and as Pires has been training with the current crop of players on a regular basis, he is in a better position than most to judge.
Pires said, “Arsenal have started the season well. Actually, since the game against Man United [when Arsenal won 3-0 at the start of October] they are doing very well.
“They have a lot of ingredients to win the title, because when you see the names in the paper the quality is there. The quality is very good. Of course, the Champions League is very important, but I prefer to see Arsenal win the Premier League this season and I know this is the objective for Arsène Wenger and all the players. It is also important for the fans. So yes, this team can win the Premier League.
“[Cech] is very important because he has already won the title with Chelsea.”
The other key player according to Pires is his fellow countryman Francis Coquelin, whose return part way through the last campaign has been a revelation and has added the steel to our spine that was missing for so long.
Pires went on, “I love this guy because he has very good spirit and he loves fighting. He’s French but he has an English mentality, and in this position you need that. In my time we had Ray Parlour, and Coquelin is the same. He’s a very good balance between defence and attack. He is important for the team. Imagine for 10 seconds Vieira and Coquelin together in midfield, in this moment or 10 years ago. That would be fantastic.”
He also spoke about the passion and hunger for success that his former boss still has and that is the third big factor to our success this season. So Pires believes that Arsenal have the tools and the desire to become champions. Do you agree?