Arsenal on the brink of 'something special'

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Arsene Wenger celebrates his 61st birthday on Friday convinced that his young Arsenal squad stand on the verge of "something special".

The Gunners head to title rivals Manchester City on Sunday with confidence restored following the midweek 5-1 thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk at the Emirates Stadium, which all but secured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

"They know they are close to something special. They want to do it and that's the challenge we have in front of us," said Wenger.

Nevertheless, Arsenal remain five points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea, to whom they lost at Stamford Bridge before the international break, and will face another stern test of their championship credentials against big-spending City.

Wenger used Thursday's Annual General Meeting of shareholders to reiterate his belief the squad are ready to deliver a first trophy since the 2005 FA Cup.

"We made it our aim to keep our group of players together because I feel they meet their needs here," he said.

Wenger, though, maintained he would look to bring in re-enforcement when the transfer window opens if he felt it necessary.

"We have still resources available to bring one or two players in if needed in January," he said. "But you have seen when you look at the other clubs it's fragile everywhere and they are in a situation where the players want to be at the top level.

"We had some players going out in the summer and we have decided to give confidence to the young players at the club. Why? Because they have a special culture of playing the game and can integrate very quickly.

"We brought [Sebastien] Squillaci, [Laurent] Koscielny and [Marouane] Chamakh and all of them have integrated very well into the spirit of the squad. I think they will be great additions to the team. They are winners, they don't talk too much and they work very hard, so I believe in the transfer market we have done quite well."

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