Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger turned in a bullish performance at the club’s AGM, saying his players were ready to win the Premier League title this season.
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Wenger had previously said it was "ridiculous" to suggest the Gunners were title contenders just seven games into the campaign, but he more upbeat as he addressed shareholders at Emirates Stadium.
"We have huge ambition to win the league this season," he said. "We are top [of the table], in a very strong position, but the end of November will give a much clearer indication of where everyone lies.
"From the end of March until now, we have lost just one match, and it created huge emotion. It was the first game of the season and we hadn’t bought anyone, so I understood it. We have shown great mental strength since then.
"The Premier League is tight again this season, and we need your support. We’ve had moments at the Emirates where we’ve not had that, but it’s our job to also inspire you and I am confident that, at the end of May, we will all be very happy."
Wenger went on to stress that the club record signing of Mesut Ozil was not an indication that he had changed his philosophy of developing young players and integrating them into his starting lineup.
He told the meeting that the ambition to unearth world-class talent through the scouting network and junior ranks remained a priority.
"The number of clubs with money is getting bigger -- that’s why I believe developing our own players is the best route," he said.
"We were restricted financially and had to be strict, but we have come out of that. However, we have to defend our style of play and values, that comes from developing our own players, with youth policy and that should be core of our club.
"The future of Arsenal will rely on quality of work we do inside, to scout and develop. We will also look to buy proven quality. We did not need to scout to buy Ozil, it was just money. I am pleased we have shown you we are not afraid to spend."
Wenger’s confident performance confirmed that the mood has changed since last year’s AGM, when fans criticised the board's decision to sell Robin van Persie to Manchester United.