Arsenal legend Martin Keown believes we will be challenging for the Premier League title next season, and claims Chelsea will be more worried about us than any of the other top sides, according to the Daily Star.
The former Gunner thinks it is too much to ask for us to overturn Chelsea’s lead this season, but insists that next year we will be right in the title hunt.
Our slow start to the campaign has seen us struggle to bridge the gap between second place and top spot, with Jose Mourinho’s side looking certain to lift the trophy.
Keown claims we still need to bring in a couple of players this summer, but is confident we will be Chelsea’s main competitors in the 2015/16 season.
“Chelsea will win it now but if you ask them next season they won’t fear anyone but they will be aware of Arsenal,” Keown said (via the Daily Star).
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“They will want to challenge next season and they will want to start well next year.
“They need to strengthen in one or two positions but I’m not talking about wholesale changes which some others may have to make if they want to compete.”
We may have ended a near decade long trophy drought last season by lifting the FA Cup, but we were still battling for fourth spot in the Premier League.
If we can retain the trophy this season and finish on Chelsea’s heels in second place, then it would still prove a successful season. And Keown believes that we have come a long way since last year, and will only improve heading into the 2015/16 campaign.
“It has to represent progress if you’re finishing two positions higher and still in the FA Cup,” the former England man said.
“They look more convincing as a team than they did last year. The players look together.
“The squad is better equipped now, Gabriel is putting [Per] Mertesacker under huge pressure and [Francis] Coquelin is in midfield instead of [Mikel] Arteta and [Mathieu] Flamini who are maybe coming to the end of their careers.
“They have a whole array of players who can play off the front and [Olivier] Giroud and [Danny] Welbeck are vying for the centre forward position. The competition for places creates intensity.”
We have been in fantastic form recently, and need to make sure we keep up our momentum as the campaign comes to a close. We still have plenty to play for, and it would set a precedent for the following season if we were to finish strongly.