Arsene Wenger is braced for another highly competitive Premier League title race, though he has urged his Arsenal players to ensure that they come out on top.
The 2016-17 Premier League season gets underway next week, with surprise title holders Leicester City looking to stun the sporting world yet again.
Wenger’s Arsenal played second-fiddle to Leicester last term, ultimately finishing as runners-up as their drought without a Premier League trophy extended to 12 years.
Arsenal’s bid to top the table for the first time since 2004 will not get any easier, though, as Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino and Claudio Ranieri also vie for supremacy in what Wenger insists will be a wide open title race.
“There are plenty of clubs with big ambition. At the moment there are many big managers and many big clubs,” said the Frenchman, after Friday’s 8-0 friendly rout of Viking.
“It raises the ambition and the hope everywhere, but only one will win it. We just have to make sure it is us.
“The competition will be very fierce, especially with Leicester winning it last year. Nobody expected that so some smaller clubs could hope to be in the fight for it too. They can say that the bigger clubs will drop points against each other, so it will be more open than ever but also more interesting.
“We’ve got a difficult start against Liverpool, then it’s Leicester straight away, then to Watford. In the first three games we have to make sure that we are ready.”
Arsenal open their Premier League campaign at home to Liverpool on August 14, without key trio Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud.