By Richard Clarke

It would be very wrong to call Arsenal ‘surprise' Premier League leaders but, after their summer spending, many expected title favourites Chelsea and Manchester United to make the early headway.

Ironically it was a draw between the latter two teams on Sunday that allowed Arsène Wenger’s side to stay in top spot.

They had gone there on Saturday evening with an emphatic, dramatic 3-1win at Bolton.  Afterwards the Arsenal manager was happy to be raising the odd eyebrow.

“When you are not on the transfer market you are a little bit ignored at the start of the season because the attention is focused on the big signings,” said Wenger. “Most of the time, big signings mean you are favourites.

“We have gone a different way. We are trying to build a young side with a cohesive way to play the game with a culture of football we like.

“We were close last year so there is no reason why we should not be in there again this season.

“Today we had Denilson 20, Fabregas 21, Bendtner 20, Walcott 19, Song 20. When those players fight for the title one year you can hope they will be better the next year.

“We are more robust than people think we are.”

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22 Sep 2008