By Chris Harris
Arsenal are developing the belief and experience needed to end their wait for a trophy, according to Martin Keown.
The former centre back won three titles under Arsène Wenger and he remains a keen observer of the club he represented 449 times across three decades. Keown knows what it takes to land major silverware and he saw signs last season that the current Arsenal squad is ready to step up.
However, the 46-year-old warned that Arsenal need everything to click if they are to challenge the likes of Manchester City for the Premier League title.
"To win the title you need a coming together of lots of things," Keown told Arsenal.com after opening The Arsenal Brent Cross.
"There has to be a desire and a focus for you to win it and as players you need to be peaking at the right time. It is about your squad and the strength of it. We were always very lucky that we had outstanding players and the people that filled in were more than capable, so that would demonstrate the full strength of your squad and whether or not you could go the full distance.
"There has to be belief and that has to be grown over a number of years. And I do think that is growing now. I would like to see the experienced players in the squad like Mikel Arteta - who I thought was a very big loss at the end of last season - together with Jack Wilshere coming back into the fold as soon as they can. He [Arteta] is a truly outstanding player.
"It never gets easier," added Keown. "You just have to look at Manchester City, who are suddenly fulfilling their dream of winning the championship. That was a big plus for them on the back of winning the FA Cup a year before. Manchester United will be looking to react to that and then of course you have Chelsea, who won the Champions League.
"It will be difficult for Arsenal to win something but Arsène Wenger is a very competitive man and he will be desperate to do just that. I do think they are getting closer.
"It was a poor start to last season, but once they got back on track there was a period after Christmas where they were in outstanding form. So this time we really need to hit the ground running."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 31 Jul 2012