One of the more eyebrow-raising statements to come out of yesterday's pre-Arsenal vs. Southampton press conference was manager Arsene Wenger's assertion that Arsenal could still win the Premier League this season. Despite such a quick start out of the gates for Chelsea that it suggests a deal between Jose Mourinho and Satan was struck during the summer transfer window, and despite the 13-point chasm that currently exists between the two London clubs, Wenger is unfailingly optimistic. He noted, by first looking at the six-point gap between Arsenal and today's opponents:
"You cannot say the title race is over after 13 or 14 games. You also cannot say the six-point gap is not catchable.
We have not started very well but we didn’t have the squad together since the start of the season. It was a post-World Cup start typically. We have to fight like mad now to come back as much as possible to show that we can compete in every single game.
We have fought many times for the title. People always remember who won it but the fight has been very tight for long periods in the last eight or nine years.
We have a big competition in England, we have to accept that. The Premier League level goes always up and this season Chelsea have started very well. They will be difficult to catch but everybody will fight to come back on them."
Something else to remember in all this: Arsenal Wenger's spirit animal is a bald eagle, and today, Arsenal catches a Southampton team reeling from a bad home loss and missing one of its top players. It might not be the sort of thing to assuage banner-waving Wenger-Outers, but at least Wenger's letting the world know that Arsenal's not just going to settle for its current 7th place spot.