Italian star predicts Arsenal title challenge

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Arsenal can “kick on” this season and challenge for the Premier League title, according to the Gunners goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

The Italian has been deputising while the regular number one, Wojciech Szczesny, recovers from injury and has been part of a solid, if unspectacular, start to the season from Arsene Wenger’s side .

Mannone believes coming through matches such as Liverpool, Manchester City and Stoke City away with only one defeat – an arguably unfortunate reverse to Chelsea – proves that the current Arsenal team are in a good state.

Wenger’s side are currently seven points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, but are only two points off the top four and the 24-year-old fells Arsenal have given themselves a good foundation from which to challenge for the title.

“I am pleased with our start to the season," he said in an interview with the official Arsenal website.

“The team is doing great, we had [many of] the big games already. We have a good solid squad and I think we can go for it.

“I have no doubt that if we keep our focus and we keep our mentality, it's not a doubt that we are going to challenge for the title.”

Mannone’s predictions will depend greatly on the continuing form of summer signings Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla, whom have impressed so far, and the new-look defensive solidness remaining.

Despite the league table indicating an average beginning to the season, Arsenal’s back-line appear to have benefited from the guidance being given by new assistant manager Steve Bould, and Mannone believes this will be the key to any trophy.

“We need to stand up, defend well as we have been doing - that is always our base I think. From there we have massive quality up front and we can win the game.”

Premier League
Wojciech Szczesny
Vito Mannone
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