Arsenal can win the league before 2017, claims Wenger
The Gunners boss still believes he is building 'something special' at the Emirates
A cynic might say they have heard it all before, but Arsene Wenger is convinced Arsenal can win the title before the end of his current contract in 2017, and believes he his building "something special" at the Emirates.
It's a familair refrain for Arsenal fans, who were told the same thing about the side containing Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie - who all now ply their trade elsewhere in the Premier League.
Indeed of the 18-man Arsenal squad chosen for the 2011 League Cup final, won by Birmingham, only five remain at the Emirates.
But Wenger believes that his current crop of players have what it takes to finally bring sustained success back to north London.
"Despite his team's inconsistent start to the season, his faith in the squad is unshakable," says The Guardian. "The club has suffered from a glut of injuries, with Wenger attributing some of them to the after-effects of the World Cup but he believes that when everybody is available, they can compete."
Speaking ahead of tonight's clash with Southampton, Wenger blamed the summer tournament in Brazil for his team's worst start to a season for 32 years. "We have not started very well, but we never had the squad together since the start of the season," he said. "It was a post World Cup start typically... We have to fight like mad now to come back as much as possible to show that we can compete in every single game."
He also pointed out that Arsenal have been involved in the title race in many of the last ten seasons despite not winning it, and the Frenchman also insisted that runaway Chelsea could be overhauled this time. "They will be difficult to catch, but everybody will fight to come back on them. After 13 or 14 games, you cannot say that the title race is over. You cannot say that is not catchable."
Will his "bullish" assessment of the Gunners season lift the gloom at the Emirates? Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph is not convinced.
"Wenger's analysis is likely to be treated with scepticism by those Arsenal fans who have lost faith in his ability to win a fourth title," he says.