Mathieu Flamini believes Arsenal can challenge for the Premier League title again after a disappointing finish to the previous campaign.
Arsene Wenger’s side occupied top spot in the Premier League for 128 days last term, more than any club in the division, but fell away in the latter stages of the season and ended up battling for a UEFA Champions League place.
Arsenal ultimately secured fourth place to ensure a 17th successive season in Europe’s elite competition, and also lifted the FA Cup to end their nine-year silverware drought.
Flamini is convinced those experiences – together with Sunday’s Community Shield victory over champions Manchester City at Wembley – will stand the club in good stead
“It’s very good for the confidence,” he told Sky Sports News after the 3-0 triumph against Manuel Pellegrini’s men. “But now we’re going to start the season, we have to be very focussed and ready because it is going to be a long one.
“It’s important to not forget that it’s a marathon and not a sprint.
“We had a good year last year, even though we collapsed in the last couple of months, and I think we’re ready.
“I think we have a strong team with a lot of qualities, we are one of the big teams and I think we can fight for the title.”
Arsenal open their Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium.
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