By Chris Harris

If Arsenal end the season as English or European champions, it will be the most satisfying triumph of Arsène Wenger’s long career.

The Arsenal manager has chosen a different path to his major rivals in recent years, bringing a new generation of young talent through the ranks at Emirates Stadium while the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool have spent big money.

Wenger’s policy manifests itself most emphatically in the top four’s transfer balance sheets. Unlike the rest of the ‘Big Four’, Arsenal have made a net profit under the shrewd stewardship of their manager.

That approach has perhaps stacked the odds against Arsenal in terms of title success and that’s why victory will taste all the more sweeter for Wenger if he lifts a major trophy next May.

“Yes, we do it in a different way and it would be very, very satisfying because there is long and hard work behind that,” said Wenger at his pre-match press conference.

“It is physical work, mental work and it takes a lot of strength to push that through.”

The bookmakers – and most of the critics - suggest that Arsenal are outsiders for the big prizes this season but Wenger remains optimistic that his young side will deliver.

 “I believe we have a very good chance,” he said.

“The opponents, like Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, you do not know how strong they will be.

“In the Premier League, the target is to always be over 82 points if you want to win the championship. In a league of that quality, you need to win at least 25 games.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
14 Aug 2009