By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Arsenal have broken their Chelsea ‘curse’ and are capable of winning this season’s Premier League title, according to Emmanuel Petit.
The former Gunners midfielder was encouraged by the way Arsene Wenger’s team overcame their London rivals in the Community Shield in early August, winning 1-0, and insists they have the squad to pip Chelsea and leaders Manchester City to first position.
“Yes, I truly believe it,” explained Petit, who spent three years at Arsenal before joining Chelsea for a further three years, with a season at Barcelona in between. “When I look at the [Community] Shield match against Chelsea, the curse was broken.
“I thought at the time that Arsenal would compete for the Premier League and still believe it. Manchester City have bought some good players with a lot of money but in the next couple of years Arsenal could win the Premier League or the Champions League.
“The main reason I say this is because when you look at a team that is playing quick one-two touch passing, you can see the players are enjoying themselves on the pitch.
“The whole Arsenal team are speaking the same football language and with special players like [Aaron] Ramsey, [Mesut] Ozil, [Per] Metersacker and Santi Cazorla among others, you have a very strong squad with experience and quality.”
Petit, who helped Arsenal to a Premier League and FA Cup double in 1998, says his former team will be heartened by their victory of Chelsea in early August as the two sides look ahead to Saturday lunchtime’s showdown at Stamford Bridge.
That was Wenger’s first victory over Jose Mourinho at the 14th attempt and the long-standing Arsenal manager has the backing of his former midfielder.
“What he (Wenger) has done is colossal, huge, and successful as well. They have won two consecutive FA Cups and I think the Premier League is going to come back soon.”