Football

/ News

Powered by ESPNfc
  • Premier League

Arsenal's attack will surprise opponents, says Arteta

ESPN staff
August 13, 2014 « Van Gaal: We played our worst game | Day 6: Maria Ho eliminated, 68 left »
Are Arsenal title contenders

New Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta believes the club now have the forward firepower to mount a long-overdue sustained assault on the Premier League title.

The manner in which the FA Cup winners saw off defending champions Manchester City in the Community Shield, albeit against a makeshift side, at Wembley has given hope Arsene Wenger's men can finally last the distance through to May 2015, for what would be a first championship in more than a decade.

Premier League Preview

Arsene Wenger has splashed the cash this summer © Getty Images
  • "There are two major lessons for Arsenal to take from 2013-14. The first is to make certain they have the requisite squad depth to endure the rigours of a tightly fought title race. The second is to ensure they fare better against their immediate rivals."
  • Full Arsenal preview

Wenger strengthened the Arsenal squad with the £30 million-summer addition of Chile forward Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, while the arrival of France international Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle offset the loss of Bacary Sagna, who joined City on a free transfer.

Add to that the raw talents of Joel Campbell, the Costa Rica forward back from a loan spell at Olympiakos, and Yaya Sanogo, who netted four against Benfica in the Emirates Cup, as well as the imminent return of England forward Theo Walcott from his knee injury, and the Gunners will certainly have plenty of frontline ammunition.

"Attacking-wise this season, we are going to be more different and we are going to have more of a surprise factor,'' Arteta told Arsenal Player. "[Alexis] looks very good. He has got pace, that special technique, his feet are so, so quick.

"He is a bit cheeky on the pitch, and got those runs, that movement, is always on the shoulder of a defender and he wants to score goals.

"Alexis has the right attitude here - very humble. He is going to do well - I think the fans are very excited and I think they are right because we have signed some player here.''

Arteta, appointed as permanent club captain following the sale of Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona, added: "I am very impressed with Joel [Campbell]. He's got great feet, great technique, is very creative and he's a young lad who is full of energy and is enthusiastic.

"He wants to stay here, wants to make his stamp here and I think the boss is going to give him a chance.''

Wenger indicated he would like to bring in another defender to cover Vermaelen's departure, the Belgian international heading to the Nou Camp for more first-team opportunities.

Arsenal have been linked with the likes of Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes, Wolfsburg defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo, Sporting Lisbon's William Carvalho and Greek international Kostas Manolas.

Calum Chambers joined Arsenal for £16m from Southampton earlier in the summer and the 19-year-old has produced some consistent displays during preseason.

Arteta is confident there is more to come.

"I am impressed by Calum's character, by how quickly he is adapting and how secure he is when he plays,'' said the Spaniard. "He is mature, a normal guy and I think he is going to be a very important player for us in the next few years.''

German World Cup-winning trio Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil have all returned to Arsenal's Hertfordshire training base.

However, they are unlikely to be considered for the Gunners' Premier League opener at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday, with the first leg of the Champions League play-off against Besiktas in Istanbul next week a possibility.

Walcott, who missed the World Cup after suffering a serious knee problem in the FA Cup win over Tottenham in January, and Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina, signed from Nice in the summer, have not been included in Arsenal's UEFA squad list for the tie as they continue their respective recoveries from injury.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Feeds Feeds: ESPN staff

ESPN staff Close