Belief is the key to Arsenal’s season

If Arsène Wenger is to be believed, we have one of the greatest crops of young players ever assembled.

Results would suggest the blend isn’t quite there yet – and more injuries this international week have hardly helped our cause.

One point from six has left us chasing the leaders rather than sitting proudly atop the Premiership table – and the doubters are out in force again.

It’s easy to question tactics, personnel and poor performances when actually, there’s something else that needs to be taken into consideration.

Watching Arsenal TV last night, it was clear that the 1998 Double team, albeit made up of plenty of experienced players, were written off until a series of results provided the belief that created that historic success. Notably, we’d gone seven years without the title at that stage.

Remember last season when everyone had written us off? A run of good results and suddenly everyone was talking about the Gunners as true contenders – and how close we came. Confidence and belief were key.

After the debacle at Fulham, it could well have been the same this season, if only we had managed to maintain our professionalism against Hull City.

There are a lot of gloomy Gooners out there at the moment – and I would count myself among those who are feeling the frustration.

But looking back at the teams Wenger has coached at Arsenal and there are plenty of times when we were nowhere near as competitive as we are at the moment, falling way behind M*nure in the race for the title.

Things were not always perfect and not making a cup final last season and slipping up so tragically in the Premiership and the Champions League has provided the doubters with a louder voice than they deserve.

While it’s easy to expect better after the flowing, glorious days of yore, the line between success and failure is a lot closer than we care to think.

Our football after Fulham was back to the good old days and, should we go on a similar run and learn from the complacency that afflicted us against Hull, this could still be a season of excitement and glory.

The key ingredient, and something which Wenger will work on fastidiously in the weeks and months to come is that belief. When our confidence is high, the football we now demand comes naturally to the players – and as we’ve seen already this season, no one can come close to matching it when we’re on our game.

But it’s not just down to the players.

However anxious we may be getting about another possible season of disappointment, us Gooners need to have that belief too and ensure that, home and away we convey it to the players.

I still remain convinced we will taste glory this season. It is time to believe.