Paul Merson comments on Arsenal's title chances, and the effect Petr Cech will have

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Merson seems to be of the opinion that Cech could be among the final pieces of the jigsaw in an Arsenal title-winning side.

Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has said to Sky Sports that the club should be challenging for the Premier League title in the coming season. 

Merson points to the arrival of goalkeeper Petr Cech from Chelsea as being key to helping the side make a sustained challenge for their first top-flight crown in 12 years, and agreed with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who suggested the Gunners have no excuses if they do not finish top of the pile.

He told Sky Sports: "For the first time in a long, long time – since the days of Jens Lehmann - Arsenal have got a goalie [Petr Cech] who is going to save them points rather than give them away. I mean this goalie is going to save you points, there is no doubt about that.

"I would not put them as favourites, as this team have not won it before, so it is a different kettle of fish come next March. The thing is, Chelsea have been there and done it, whereas Arsenal haven’t, and that is why if you see the bookmakers’ prices Arsenal are a lot longer than Chelsea and City. And that is because they have not been in that situation before.

"However, if they are not contending come next April, then there have got to be serious questions asked, especially as they have bought a very good goalie."

Chelsea and Manchester City currently lead the betting ahead of the new Premier League season, with Arsenal the best of the rest. After last season's third place finish, the side will want to kick on. 

Over the past two seasons the Gunners have got their taste for winning silverware back, having won successive FA Cups, but now they need to find that consistency in the league in order to mount a sustained challenge for English football's top prize.

The goalkeeper situation has been precarious one for several years for Arsene Wenger, as we have seen him change his first choice option midway through the season over the past 10 years. Someone with the pedigree and talent that Cech has is unlikely to be relegated to the bench for a prolonged period of time while he is at the Emirates Stadium. 

But, of course, there is more than just the goalkeeper who contributes to any title success. But Arsenal have added an ingredient that will certainly help their cause this season. They have footballers capable of scoring goals in several positions but, as always, an element of luck can be a factor in any challenge for honours.

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