by Lewis Ambrose
Emmanuel Petit won the double in his first season at Arsenal, and has backed the Gunners to win the league this season.
Arsenal haven’t been champions of England since 2004 but Petit believes the team now has what it takes to beat another former club of his, Chelsea, to the Premier League title.
“After nine years without the league trophy, the pressure is very, very high on Arsene and the club,” Petit said to ESPN FC before the Community Shield on Sunday.
“Arsene has been very intelligent in the transfer market for the last three years where they signed players of international quality like [Mesut] Özil and [Olivier] Giroud.
“Along with the youngsters that are coming through the academy, his efforts are paying off and two FA Cup trophies in the past two seasons is good testament to his work.”
When he came to London, Petit formed a formidable midfield with compatriot Patrick Vieira as Wenger implemented a new style at the club. The smooth central midfielder famously covered every blade of grass at Highbury, sweeping passes around with his beautiful left foot.
Now he thinks Wenger is again making the right signings to send Arsenal right to the very top.
“Petr Cech will improve this team defensively along with his proven winning mentality,” Petit added. Arsenal have lacked experience and ‘know how’ at times but Čech certainly changes that.
“He has won many trophies with Chelsea and has been a great, great player for them for the past decade. His professionalism will also be helpful in the dressing room to help the young Gunners focus on the title challenge.
“I’ll also put a coin on Arsenal to win the league title this year. The main reason I say this is because when you look at a team that is playing quick one-two touch passing, you can see the players are enjoying themselves on the pitch.”
The teams Petit played in were dominant and also gave the feeling of enjoyment on the pitch, it’s no surprise he values that so highly.
“The whole Arsenal team are speaking the same football language
“As a former player, when you look at the team on the field, you can tell if they are enjoying the brand of football and that is the only way to win titles. To enjoy and believe in your team’s style of play.”