Wenger feels positive vibe ahead of new season

May 31, 2006

Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal will emerge stronger from the experiences of last season as they look to become contenders for the Barclays Premiership title once more.

The Gunners boss appears to have again become a pawn in another Spanish political football battle after one of the candidates in Real Madrid's presidential elections revealed the Frenchman would be his first choice to run the show at the Bernabeu.

Wenger, however, has continually stated his desire to remain with Arsenal, having guided them to the final of the Champions League and with the club set to move to their new 60,000-seater home at the Emirates Stadium from next season.

The 56-year-old is under contract until 2008, and has his sights set firmly on taking the Gunners back into contention for the Premiership title, having finished fourth last term.

Arsenal have already added to their squad with the arrival of Czech Republic midfielder Tomas Rosicky, but will be without the services of Robert Pires next season after the veteran French winger left for Villarreal when his contract expired.

Wenger believes his men will have been galvanised from the last campaign, which saw them finish strongly after an inconsistent start.

The Arsenal manager declared: 'I cannot wait now already to start the season because I want to come back to be strong to continue the progression of the team.

'I believe that what happened to us [last season] has created a unity inside the squad that will come out next season.'

Wenger added: 'This team has gone through thick and thin this year because we have been hammered for months, and we finish in a European Cup final.

'That has created a special bond that we want to build on from the first game.'