Liverpool great Kenny Dalglish has praised Arsenal's start to the season and believes those claiming it won't last could well be wrong.
Speaking in his Daily Mirror column, Dalglish admitted the Gunners hadn't had the most difficult start to the season but feels this will only stand them in good stead once to tougher fixtures come along.
It was recently revealed that Dalglish would be returning to Liverpool to take a place on the board of directors, nearly a year and a half after he was sacked as manager following an eighth place finish in the Premier League.
'King Kenny' believes the real test of Arsene Wenger's squad will come in two weeks time when Arsenal face a very difficult run of four games against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup, home to Liverpool in the Premier League, away at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League and then a trip to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in the league.
While admitting that run will be hard, Dalglish feels Wenger's squad has stood up well to a raft of injuries and believes they could well surprise a few people.
"That run will tell us whether they are realistic contenders for the top honours this season," said the former Anfield and Celtic superstar.
"Many people are saying they will fall away after that sequence of matches when their squad gets stretched. I’m not so sure.
"Their squad’s not that thin when you look at it. And they are where they are despite a grim run of injuries.
"They have been without Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski.
"Thomas Vermaelen has always seemed like a pretty useful defender to me and he can’t even get in the team at the moment.
"Mathieu Flamini is doing a good job as a holding midfielder, Aaron Ramsey looks like he’s back to his best and Jack Wilshere will get fitter with every game."
Dalglish also reserved special praise for record signing Mesut Özil, whose arrival he believes has helped lift the atmosphere with players and fans, which could be crucial when it comes to their chances of winning a trophy.
"When a player of his quality joins a club, it is bound to give everyone a lift - that includes the fans, obviously. And you can see that’s what has happened at Arsenal," he added.
"They got a lot of criticism when they missed out on Gonzalo Higuain and Luis Suarez but maybe if they had signed one of them, they wouldn’t have been able to go for the Real Madrid playmaker."