Arsenal star: 'There will be no collapse this time around'

Mathieu Flamini accepts that Arsenal "collapsed" last season but thinks the squad are one of the favourites to win the Premier League this coming term.

The Gunners led the way for most of the previous campaign, but fell away in the final months as they slipped to damaging defeats to the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton.

The Londoners eventually had to fend off a spirited charge from the Toffees for the final Champions League spot as Arsene Wenger's side finished fourth - seven points behind winners Manchester City.

French midfielder Flamini, who rejoined the club on a free transfer last summer, admitted that their title charge disappointingly disintegrated in the final few months, but thinks that the team will be a different proposition this coming season.

The Gunners have added Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers, David Ospina and Mathieu Debuchy to their squad, and Flamini thinks the additions will give the side a tougher backbone.

He told Sky Sports News: “We had a good year last year, but we collapsed in a couple of months but I think we’re ready [for the new season].

"We have a lot of quality and we have a big chance [to win the league]. We certainly have the quality to fight for the title, definitely."

The 30-year-old was speaking after the Gunners beat title-rivals Manchester City 3-0 in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday, and while he accepts that the game is a glorified pre-season friendly, he sees no harm in beating one of their fellow contenders by such a convincing margin with less than a week before the hostilities resume for real.

"It’s very good for the confidence," he added. "But now we’ve got to start the season and be very focused and ready because it will a be a long way.

"Let’s not forget the season is a marathon and not a sprint. It will be a long one and we’ll make sure we’re ready."

Arsenal have lost Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen, while Nicklas Bendtner has left the club following the expiration of his contract, but the addition of Chile international Sanchez has got fans excited ahead of the new season.

Olivier Giroud was continually played up top last season and eventually succumbed to burnout, but the £32 million arrival from Barcelona will certainly offer the side a greater goal threat.

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