Belfast Telegraph

Wenger - This can be our season

Arsene Wenger has urged Arsenal players and fans alike to keep the faith his young side can finally deliver this season.

The Gunners open their quest for a first Premier League title since 2004 at Liverpool on Sunday, where they are likely to be without World Cup final duo Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie. Since his 'Invincibles' team, led by midfield enforcer Patrick Vieira, swept all before them, Arsenal have failed to turn their undoubted potential into silverware.

"I believe we have a good chance. The most important thing is that we have that belief," Wenger said.

"We finished third last season, so we have two stairs to climb and I am confident that we can do it."

Despite all of the speculation surrounding the future of captain Fabregas, Arsenal managed to maintain a decent pre-season build-up which ended with a thrilling 6-5 victory at Legia Warsaw.

However, neither of the Gunners' two main men have been in action, missing both the training camp in Austria as well as the successful Emirates Cup tournament.

This week's international schedule has hardly helped matters in terms of recovery and preparation, with Fabregas having to travel to Mexico, although Van Persie will not be involved for Holland against Ukraine.

Wenger will leave it as late as possible before deciding whether he has to simply rule the pair out of the Anfield trip.

"They are a lot behind," Wenger said on

"Cesc goes to Mexico so he will not be able to practise, and comes back on Thursday night or Friday, so we will have to see. I hope Van Persie will have a good week of preparation, but I think he will be short as well."


From Belfast Telegraph