By Richard Clarke

The footballing world has made its pronouncement. Arsenal cannot win the title this season. No Henry, no Ljungberg, no chance they argue.

However the view from the inside looking out is very different. And, on the eve of the new Barclays Premier League season, Arsène Wenger made an impassioned defence of his young side's chances during the coming campaign.

"If you come within our squad, you will see that there is a big contrast between how we see our situation and how our environment sees our situation," he said.

"We know we have quality, we know we have a style of play, we know we have a hunger and we know how we have prepared. We have created a strong belief, we have a great solidarity in the squad and we know that's what matters now. That is why we are so keen to show it."

No-one involved in football, from kitman to chairman, can expect to go through their career without criticism. Wenger stated he thrives on proving the sceptics wrong and is fully aware there will be some told-you-so attitudes on show next May if this youthful Arsenal side achieve less this season than last.

"It is the pride of the champions to come and show how good you are," he said. "And I believe this team wants to show that.

"You win when you are good enough. We have very young players but we have a lot of experience already. Fabregas has played over 100 games in the Premiership and some players don't have that at 25.

"It depends how much experience you have and how much you want to win. This team has got into the Final of the Champions League without losing one game in the whole season and maybe we learned our trade a little bit last year. That's why I feel we are ready to blossom."

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
Richard Clarke 10 Aug 2007