Arsene Wenger’s advice to Mikel Arteta as he tips Arsenal as title contenders

Arsene Wenger has suggested Arsenal should challenge in this season’s Premier League title race.

The legendary Gunners manager knows what it takes to win in England’s top flight, having won the league three times between 1998 and 2004, including without losing a single game in 2003-04.

Although he struggled to replicate that level of success later in his 22-year tenure, Wenger believes he laid some of the groundwork for bringing Premier League glory back to north London.

Asked what one piece of advice he would give to Mikel Arteta, his successor at the Emirates Stadium, the Frenchman urged him simply to make sure the team believe in themselves.

Wenger urged Arteta “to continue to have a grip on the team, as he has at the moment” and “to go to the end of his beliefs”, a translation of a French phrase implying that anything is possible.

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Wenger continued: “I think there is a good team spirit and they have a good chance to do well.

“I believe it will not be very difficult to improve on the number of points they got last season. But I’m convinced Arsenal can be in the top four, if not more. Why not more?

“They can be the surprise package for me this year: they bought well, they strengthened the defence well. And they kept the players who were already there.

"In my last year I bought [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, they kept him. They have every ingredient and no real weakness.”

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Arsenal won three of their four opening games of the new campaign going into the current international break, losing only to defending champions Liverpool.

They have already beaten Liverpool twice in this condensed season. Both times were on penalties – in the Community Shield and the League Cup third round at Anfield.

The Gunners have a big test coming up on Saturday evening away at Manchester City, where Arteta cut his teeth in coaching as an assistant under Pep Guardiola.

Arteta had previously played for five years under Wenger, who was taking part in a Q&A with The Guardian ahead of the publication of his autobiography.

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