Santi Cazorla: Arsenal can win title
Santi Cazorla says Arsenal fans can expect a title challenge this season after the Gunners ended their nine-year trophy drought by lifting the FA Cup in May.
Arsene Wenger has strengthened his starting lineup with the signings of World Cup stars Mathieu Debuchy and Alexis Sanchez, while Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina and Southampton full-back Calum Chambers could also arrive.
Cazorla has been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid this summer and, while he admits that the Diego Simeone's side are an inspiration, the Spain international says he is committed to helping Arsenal win their first league title in 11 years.
"I have high hopes. The signing of Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy shows that the club is building a team to challenge. Hopefully we can lift at least another trophy this campaign," he told Marca.
"Winning the FA Cup altered the type of pressure we'll be under this season. It unshackled us in a manner of speaking. After so many trophy-less years, the tension was getting to the team.
"Last year maybe we didn't quite have enough strength in depth to win the league. We had to deal with injuries to important players, including Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Lukas Podolski, and I had niggling ankle problems. That meant that when push came to shove, we were unable to keep pace with Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool.
"I'm expecting a very open title race. City are the reigning champions; United are going to strengthen in a big way and, since they aren't in Europe, will be able to focus on the league; Chelsea have made great signings like Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Thibaut Courtois and Didier Drogba; while Liverpool have proven they are contenders.
"Atletico are a good example to follow. They had an incredible season last time out. A lot of people don't appreciate how hard it is to win the league when you're up against Barca and Real Madrid."