Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal have a "good chance" of mounting a serious challenge for the Premier League title this season, and has praised Mikel Arteta for returning a sense of identity to the club.

Arsenal hold a one-point advantage over Manchester City and Tottenham at the top of the Premier League table, having won six of their first seven games this campaign.

This represents just the third time Arsenal have won six of their first seven games in a Premier League season, having previously done so under Wenger in 2004-05 and 2007-08.

While City and Tottenham have joined Arsenal in remaining unbeaten so far, last season's runners-up Liverpool have struggled, posting their lowest points tally after six games of a season since Jurgen Klopp took charge (nine).

Wenger, who won three league titles during his 22-year spell with the Gunners, believes his former club could capitalise on other sides' struggles to make a push for silverware.

"I think they have a good chance this season, because I don't see any super dominating team," he told Sky Sports.

"I believe that there's a good opportunity this season to do it, and of course, it's a bit of a special season as well because you have the World Cup in the middle.

"You don't know how much that will affect the performances of individual players in the teams, and overall, I believe there's a good opportunity there."

Arteta was named the Premier League's manager of the month after leading Arsenal to a perfect August, but Wenger believes his most impressive achievement has been to establish an identity at the Emirates Stadium.

"I personally think that Mikel Arteta was very conscious of the values of the club, because he has been educated at Arsenal, he was captain of my teams, and he wanted to restore the values of the club," Wenger added.

"Overall, I think he has done that well. After that, you need to create the belief and a sense of belonging, that you belong to something special, something bigger than you that you want to serve.

"On that front, I believe he has done well. I'm still in touch with them and overall, I believe they are going the right way.

"Arsenal is a special club, with special values. There's a good balance between tradition and forward-thinking, and overall I think they are doing that well again now."

Arsenal will face a major test of their credentials when the Premier League resumes after the international break, as they host Tottenham in the season's first North London derby on October 1.

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka called on the club and his team-mates to "protect" Ethan Nwaneri after the teenager made Premier League history.

Nwaneri became the youngest player to ever appear in the Premier League on Sunday as was introduced late on in Arsenal's 3-0 win over Brentford.

Aged 15 years and 181 days, Nwaneri broke the record set by Harvey Elliott when he came on for Fulham at 16 years and 30 days old.

Nwaneri was included in Mikel Arteta's squad partly due to injuries and was introduced near the end with the Gunners in complete control.

An England youth international, Nwaneri had trained with Arsenal's first team "a couple of times", according to Arteta, whose decision to bring him on was a "gut feeling".

Nwaneri has understandably dominated headlines since his historic cameo, but the need to protect him and keep him on his current path was not lost on Xhaka, who had known of the player's talent having taken charge of Arsenal Under-16s training sessions.

"To have a guy who is 15, who is 15 years younger than me… he looks old when I see him but the club can be proud of a player like him," Xhaka told reporters.

"He has a big future. If I am honest, I am doing my coaching licence and I have trained the Under-16s: you can see a big difference with him and the other guys. He is very, very special.

"Of course, you have to protect him as he is very young but if he keeps going like this with his hard work, he has a big, big future.

"I spoke with one Brentford guy and I told him this guy was 15 and he looked at me and said: 'F*** me, we are looking old!'

"So yes, of course, when you have 15 years difference you think: 'Okay the time is not gone but it is on the way'. But we are enjoying him, he is enjoying us as he has the quality.

"If I am honest, he is not with us a lot in training. I have maybe seen him twice or three times now. He is very shy, of course, but the time will come when he will be more with us, but you have to protect him and help him.

"Football is not everything for him and for us but yes, the club will help him and the experienced players have to help him."

Fabio Vieira marked his first Premier League start with a fine goal in Arsenal's 3-0 win over Brentford on Sunday but boss Mikel Arteta was more impressed with how he did the "ugly" things in the game.

William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus put the Gunners into a 2-0 half-time lead, before Vieira, who joined from Porto in June, rifled home from 25 yards to put the seal on a comprehensive victory that lifted the Gunners back to the top of the Premier League table.  

Arteta believes the attacking midfielder role that Vieira played is where he is best suited, yet hopes the 22-year-old will continue to undertake the dirty work that is often required to win games. 

"I think he's having a good progression," Arteta said. "Obviously he missed the whole of pre-season due to injury, which was really unlucky. But we know his talent, the reasons why we signed him and what he can bring to the team.

"To do it against Brentford, at this ground, on his debut, is a different story. He showed again his character and his qualities."

Asked what the 22-year-old's best position is, Arteta responded: "That's something that still needs to be decided. In those two attacking midfield positions, for sure. He's played off the side as well, so it's more about the relations he has in the unit and on his side, and where he is more comfortable. But the position he played today fits him really well.

"He's a creative player. He needs to play with his gut feeling and his instinct. That's what he needs to do and we need to create as many scenarios for him as possible to put his talent to the service of the team.

"What I like as well is the way he competes, and the way he went about the ugly part of the game really impressed me."

Arsenal have won more Premier League games than any other team so far this season (six). It is just the third time they have won as many as six of their first seven games of a Premier League campaign – previously doing so in 2004-05 and 2007-08 under Arsene Wenger (both six).

Central to that success has been captain Granit Xhaka, who made the joint-highest number of key passes against Brentford from a deep-lying midfield position (three, alongside Bukayo Saka).

Arteta was fulsome in his praise of the Switzerland international, saying: "His consistency, and how he goes about that every day is impressive.

"He has a willingness always to stay humble, to look forward and try to get better and when you do that, normally good things happen.

"I think he feels now that love and respect both ways [with the fans]. You see our supporters, the way they were singing to him as well, emotionally that makes him try to give even more.

"I'm really pleased for him because in my opinion he really deserves it."

Mikel Arteta's decision to include Ethan Nwaneri was a "pure gut feeling" after the 15-year-old made Premier League history at Brentford.

Arsenal were cruising towards a 3-0 victory over Thomas Frank's side on Sunday after goals from William Saliba, Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira before Arteta sent on Nwaneri in stoppage time.

Aged just 15 years and 181 days, Nwaneri became the youngest player in Premier League history, breaking Harvey Elliott's record of 16 years and 30 days for Fulham.

Fellow youngster Lino Sousa was an unused substitute and Arteta suggested the injury to Martin Odegaard, alongside impressive performances for Arsenal's youth side, offered Nwaneri the chance.

"It was a pure gut feeling. I met the boy and really liked what I saw," the Gunners manager said.

"Per Mertesacker and the academy staff are giving me really good information, Edu as well. I met Ethan, he's trained a couple of times with us.

"[Saturday] he had to come because we have injuries, especially the injury of Martin and then I had that feeling that if the opportunity could come that I was going to do it."

While Arsenal were in complete control as Nwaneri was introduced with four minutes of added time indicated, Arteta said he sent on the youngster with little instruction.

"Those things it is better not to tell them," the Spaniard responded when asked if he had sent Nwaneri on with a message. "Just throw him [on] there and see what happens."

Arsenal leapfrogged Manchester City at the Premier League summit with victory and will have the international break to prepare for tough tests in their next two league clashes with Tottenham and Liverpool.

Thomas Frank labelled Arsenal as "title contenders" after the Gunners' convincing 3-0 victory at Brentford, where Mikel Arteta saw a "very different" team to the one defeated by the Bees last season.

Captain Martin Odegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko were absent through injury on Sunday, but Arsenal rarely looked troubled as they condemned Brentford to their heaviest top-flight defeat at home since May 1947.

William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus scored first-half headers before Fabio Vieira's brilliant strike on his full league debut sealed the victory.

Tougher tests may come against Tottenham and Liverpool after the international break for Arsenal, who moved back above Manchester City at the Premier League summit, and Frank expects them to be challenging at the top this season.

"We lost 3-0, to the number one in the Premier League," Frank told Sky Sports. "I said before they are a top side.

"I think we performed quite well, not 10 [out of] 10 but if you want to win or get something out of the team flying, you cannot concede the first from a set-piece and then the second one.

"In general, unless it is something unbelievable brilliance from a set-piece, I want us to avoid every set-piece goal. There are a few bits we could have done better for the second.

"They didn't create that many chances but had quality in moments. We lost the game, I hate losing.

"They are top of the table so you cannot argue with that, they have done brilliantly. Looking at their quality, they must be title contenders."

It was a markedly different display to the one Arsenal turned in against Brentford in the corresponding fixture last season, which finished 2-0 to the hosts.

"A lot of people described what happened last year as a really bad day, the team had to evolve and journey together to react," Arteta said. 

"You can give up, question everybody, blame them or learn a lesson and look in the mirror. Today, there was obviously a very different team.

"It was very difficult in a rollercoaster of actions where you are constantly under pressure. They are very good at what they do but we managed to take the game how we wanted so credit to the boys.

"We wanted to get back to the top, yesterday [City] took it away from us, but we showed that desire from the first minute and we have done it."

Ethan Nwaneri made history for Arsenal at Brentford as he became the youngest player to appear in the Premier League after his second-half introduction on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta's side were without Martin Odegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko for the trip to Brentford Community Stadium, with youngsters Nwaneri and Lino Sousa named on the bench.

William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus headed in first-half to put Arsenal in control, before Fabio Vieira marked his first Premier League start with a superb strike after the interval.

With four minutes of injury time added, Arteta sent on Nwaneri to replace Vieira as the 15-year-old etched his name into Premier League history.

The midfielder, aged just 15 years and 181 days, became the youngest player to feature in a Premier League match, breaking Harvey Elliott's record of 16 years and 30 days for Fulham.

Arsenal returned to the Premier League summit with a dominant 3-0 victory at Brentford, where Fabio Vieira scored on his first league start on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta's side saw their winning start ended by defeat at Manchester United in their previous league match, but they responded in emphatic fashion to move a point clear of Manchester City and Tottenham.

First-half goals from William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus put Arsenal in control, before Vieira – in for the injured Martin Odegaard – added a brilliant third after the interval.

With the points safe, Ethan Nwaneri, aged just 15 years and 181 days, became the youngest player in Premier League history as he appeared from the Arsenal bench for the closing stages.

Gabriel Martinelli slipped to spurn a glorious chance inside two minutes, but Arsenal soon punished Brentford for a timid start with two goals in quick succession.

Saliba met Bukayo Saka's corner with a near-post glance, which bounced off David Raya's right post and over the line before the goalkeeper could react, and then Jesus nodded in from Granit Xhaka's left-wing cross.

Saka and Kieran Tierney both fired off target from presentable opportunities, while Bryan Mbuemo flicked wide at the other end as Arsenal dominated the first half.

Vieira marked his full debut by whipping past Raya and in off the post from outside the area four minutes after the break.

Ivan Toney volleyed just over from an inventive free-kick routine, before Raya expertly denied a fizzing Jesus drive and a curling Saka effort as Brentford rarely threatened an unlikely comeback.

What does it mean? Arsenal banish Brentford demons

Arsenal were off the pace in their Premier League opener last season, losing 2-0 to newly promoted Brentford, but they banished those demons on Sunday.

The Bees had lost just one of their previous 17 top-flight London derbies at home yet proved no match for an in-form Arsenal, who picked up their sixth win in seven league games.

While Tottenham and Liverpool may prove tougher tasks in their next two league matches, Arsenal laid down another marker despite injury problems for the absent Odegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Super Saka

Saka continued his fine form for Arsenal as he laid on two assists to move to 37 goal involvements in the Premier League for the Gunners (18 goals, 19 assists).

That moved him clear of Nicolas Anelka (35) for the most Arsenal goal contributions in the competition while aged 21 or under, with Cesc Fabregas (63) the only player to tally more.

Timid Toney

Toney was handed a maiden England call-up this week after scoring five and assisting two more in just six league games – only Erling Haaland (12) has managed more goal involvements in the Premier League.

But the Brentford striker failed to leave his mark in this seventh match, not registering a single shot on target and completing only eight passes in a quiet showing against Saliba and Gabriel.

What's next?

Arsenal have the upcoming international break to prepare for the visit of Tottenham on October 1, when Brentford visit Bournemouth.

Arsenal named 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri on the bench for their clash with Brentford, where Fabio Vieira will make his first Premier League start due to Martin Odegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko's absences.

Nwaneri could become the youngest player in Premier League history – surpassing Harvey Elliot's top-flight debut for Fulham, aged just 16 years and 30 days – should he be brought on by Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners were without captain Odegaard after he sustained an injury in training, with Vieira taking his place behind Gabriel Jesus to make his first league start since arriving from Porto in June.

Zinchenko was another absentee with Kieran Tierney in the starting XI at left-back, while Thomas Partey returned from a thigh injury to replace Albert Sambi Lokonga at the base of midfield.

"They are both injured and not available for the game. I don't know [the timescale]," Arteta told Sky Sports before kick-off when asked about Zinchenko and Odegaard. 

"We have the international break right now, so that's going to give us a break. It's two different things, but we don't know yet."

Ben White retained his starting position at right-back despite reports of injury concerns, with Takehiro Tomiyasu on the bench.

Lino Sousa and Reuell Walters were also included in Arteta's youthful matchday squad, and the Arsenal coach acknowledged injury problems have allowed the youngsters a chance to feature.

"We have the opportunity now to bring young players. We had some injuries in the last few weeks, and we are pretty short," the Spaniard added. "But opportunities come when other issues arise."

Arsenal named 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri on the bench for their clash with Brentford, where Fabio Vieira will make his first Premier League start due to Martin Odegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko's absences.

Nwaneri could become the youngest player in Premier League history – surpassing Harvey Elliot's top-flight debut for Fulham, aged just 16 years and 30 days – should he be brought on by Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners were without captain Odegaard after he sustained an injury in training, with Vieira taking his place behind Gabriel Jesus to make his first league start since arriving from Porto in June.

Zinchenko was another absentee with Kieran Tierney in the starting XI at left-back, while Thomas Partey returned from a thigh injury to replace Albert Sambi Lokonga at the base of midfield.

"They are both injured and not available for the game. I don't know [the timescale]," Arteta told Sky Sports before kick-off when asked about Zinchenko and Odegaard. 

"We have the international break right now, so that's going to give us a break. It's two different things, but we don't know yet."

Ben White retained his starting position at right-back despite reports of injury concerns, with Takehiro Tomiyasu on the bench.

Lino Sousa and Reuell Walters were also included in Arteta's youthful matchday squad, and the Arsenal coach acknowledged injury problems have allowed the youngsters a chance to feature.

"We have the opportunity now to bring young players. We had some injuries in the last few weeks, and we are pretty short," the Spaniard added. "But opportunities come when other issues arise."

Mikel Arteta would have liked the chance to take advice from his former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, but has praised the legacy left behind by the Frenchman in north London.

Wenger, who joined the Gunners from Nagoya Grampus Eight in 1996, led the club over a two-decade-plus period that saw them emerge as one of the leading sides in European football.

Since his exit in 2018, however, he has seldom held a presence around the club, unlike former rival Alex Ferguson who has remained closely involved with Manchester United.

Speaking ahead of his side's Premier League clash with Brentford, Arteta - a two-time FA Cup winner under Wenger during five seasons as a player at Arsenal - acknowledged he wished he could have taken his expertise.

"I would have loved to have had him closer to have the opportunity to open up and in certain periods just listen and learn from him and everything he has been through," he told the Mirror.

"But he did it in a way to make sure that whoever comes after him had the respect and space he believed was important, and he honoured that."

With five wins and just one loss from their first six top-flight games this term, victory against Brentford could catapult Arsenal back to the summit, ahead of Manchester City and Tottenham.

Much of their success has come from the imposing presence of goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who is anticipated to be in line to start England's Nations League games with Italy and Germany later this month.

With usual Three Lions keeper Jordan Pickford out injured, there is a chance for Ramsdale to stake a claim for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, and Arteta says it would be a fitting prize for his performances.

"I hope [Ramsdale] is the [England] number one, it will be great for us and it will be great for Aaron," he added. "He has shown in the last year or so what he is capable of doing.

"We will be watching and waiting for that decision. Aaron is pretty confident. It would be a good reward for him and what he has done."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says the club "needed to play" this weekend after back-to-back postponements.

Premier League action was called off last weekend following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, while Arsenal's Europa League game with PSV on Thursday was also postponed.

Chelsea's clash against Liverpool and Manchester United's tie with Leeds United are off this weekend but the Gunners' trip across London to Brentford is going ahead.

With the added complication of the World Cup in Qatar later this year, Arteta is relieved Sunday's game will be played and hailed the nation's show of respect following the passing of the Queen.

"We needed to play. We want to play games. If you look at the schedule, after World Cup especially. We need to play games, or it is going to be tough," he said in Friday's press conference.

"It is phenomenal what the country has done. It shows the level of respect and admiration [the public have for her] and the legacy the Queen has left.

"It was very emotional, coming from a different country and culture it was pretty special."

Having suffered defeat to Manchester United last time out, Arsenal need a response and Arteta is not concerned about any lack of momentum.

"We are always available to play but there are authorities to make the right decisions. We have adapted our schedule to be as competitive as possible," he added.

Following the international break, Arsenal will have a challenging period with Premier League clashes against Tottenham and Liverpool as part of nine matches in October.

Mikel Arteta has won the Premier League's Manager of the Month award after leading the Gunners to the top of the table during a perfect August.

Arsenal won their first five games of a Premier League season for just the second time last month, having previously done so in 2004-05, as well as earning plaudits for their attractive possession-based game.

Arteta's side narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification last season, but bolstered by the arrivals of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, have set the pace at the beginning of the new campaign.

Although the Gunners lost 3-1 at Manchester United in their first outing of September, falling narrowly short of winning their opening six top-flight games for the first time since 1947-48, they continue to lead Manchester City and Tottenham by a single point at the summit.

Arteta saw off competition from four other nominees to land the award, including former mentor Pep Guardiola and Graham Potter, who led Brighton and Hove Albion to a strong start in August before leaving for Chelsea.

Arsenal fared less well in the Player of the Month voting, however, with Jesus and captain Martin Odegaard missing out to the indomitable Erling Haaland after he scored nine goals in five August appearances.

Arteta has now won the Premier League's monthly coaching prize on three separate occasions (also September 2021 and March 2022), drawing level with the likes of Antonio Conte and Brendan Rodgers.

Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter is among five nominees for the Premier League's Manager of the Month award as his move to Chelsea draws closer.

The 47-year-old is widely reported to have agreed terms to take charge at Stamford Bridge following the departure of Thomas Tuchel on Wednesday.

Having been nominated for August's Manager of the Month gong, Potter's arrival at Chelsea could coincide with him being rewarded for a stellar start to the season with Brighton.

The Seagulls won three of their five games in August, drawing with Newcastle United and losing to Fulham, and finished the month in fourth place behind Tottenham, Manchester City and Arsenal.

Those three sides have also seen their leaders nominated, with Mikel Arteta, Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola shortlisted alongside Fulham's Marco Silva.

Arteta led Arsenal to five wins from five matches in August, while Conte and Guardiola did not taste defeat during the month and Silva led Fulham to two wins and two draws.

The nominations for Manager of the Month were released alongside the shortlist for August's Player of the Month, where City's Erling Haaland is the firm favourite to pick up the award after scoring nine goals in five matches.

Arsenal are the only side to have two nominees up for the award, in captain Martin Odegaard and striker Gabriel Jesus, with the eight-man shortlist dominated by players outside of the established 'top six' in the Premier League.

Brighton's Pascal Gross, Fulham's Aleksander Mitrovic, Newcastle United's Nick Pope, Leeds United's Rodrigo and Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha are the other nominees.

Mikel Arteta expressed his surprise after Bernd Leno suggested he was forced to leave Arsenal due to "politics" rather than performances.

The Germany goalkeeper swapped London clubs ahead of the 2022-23 season as he ended a four-year stay at Arsenal to join fellow Premier League side Fulham.

Leno penned a three-year contract with the Cottagers in a bid to boost his hopes of featuring at the World Cup for Germany later in the year, after falling behind Aaron Ramsdale in the Arsenal pecking order.

The 30-year-old departing Emirates Stadium came as no surprise after Arsenal brought in goalkeeper Matt Turner from New England Revolution, though Leno says he was forced out the club.

"When I realised that it wasn't about performance or quality, I knew I had to go," Leno told German newspaper Sport Bild.

"During the preparation I saw that it's not about performance, it's just about politics. It was clear to me: I have to get out of here."

Arteta appeared bemused when Leno's comments were put to him ahead of Arsenal's Europa League clash at Zurich on Thursday, claiming the suggestions were unexpected.

"I'm really surprised and I don't know if he's talking about the politics when he was starting every match or when he wasn't playing," the Arsenal manager said. "Really surprised about it."

As Leno looks to settle into life at Craven Cottage, Arteta looks ahead to a European campaign with Arsenal, who have been drawn in a group with Zurich, PSV and Bodo/Glimt.

The Gunners are among the pre-tournament favourites to go far in the Europa League, alongside their Premier League exploits that have seen them win five of their opening six games.

A 3-1 defeat at Manchester United ended the perfect start for Arsenal, who remain top of the league by a point, but Arteta knows he must balance players' workloads – especially Bukayo Saka.

"We will try to do our best to manage [Saka's] load, understanding that after November we have something that we've never experienced before," the Spaniard added, referencing the World Cup later in the year.

While Arteta may have to be cautious with star winger Saka, competing on the European front will offer other players a chance such as recent arrival Fabio Vieira, who signed from Porto in the transfer window.

"Hopefully you're going to see a lot more of him in the next few weeks and I'm sure you're going to enjoy," Arteta said of Vieira, before confirming the Gunners will be without Emile Smith Rowe due to injury.

"Emile felt some discomfort again in an area that he's been dealing with now for a few weeks. He hasn't trained in the last few days so he's out of the squad."

Gabriel Jesus believes Arsenal will come back stronger after seeing their perfect start to the Premier League campaign halted by Manchester United on Sunday.

Arsenal dominated for long periods but were unable to win their first six games of a top-flight campaign for the first time since 1947-48, as Marcus Rashford followed up Antony's debut goal with a second-half brace to clinch a 3-1 win for the Red Devils.

The Gunners, who briefly got back on level terms through Bukayo Saka on the hour mark, have now won just one of their last 16 Premier League games at Old Trafford (five draws, 10 losses).

But Arsenal remain top of the early Premier League standings, and Jesus believes they will take valuable lessons from the reverse.

"The feeling is frustration because we play, we control the game and [before] the first two goals we concede, we were better than the opponent - and then we just concede," he said. 

"But now is the time to learn from it and improve. We are doing so well this season but there are still things to improve for everyone, as individuals and as a team.

"Everyone is together and we stick together until the end.

"We came to play against a strong opponent and it's always hard, it's the Premier League. 

"So we are not happy because, in my opinion, we could win because we played so much better. But that's football, they have quality as well and then if you don't go there and kill, you are going to have a big problem – and that's what happened."

Remarkably, given Jesus has now faced United in 10 Premier League games, the Red Devils are one of just three sides he has faced in the competition but not scored against, alongside Cardiff City and Brentford. 

With Mikel Arteta leading Arsenal's youthful side to the club's joint-best Premier League start since 2004-05, when they took 16 points from their first six outings (also getting 15 points in 2013-14), Jesus believes they will still improve further.

"If you look at our team, you can see we are still young. It is the youngest team in the league, in the toughest league of the world," he added.

"We are playing so good and then we play against an opponent, who is young as well, but we have to learn from it. 

"We have to stick together and improve as a team and don't think about this one. This one is gone, no one is perfect. No team in the world is perfect and we have to play to try to score and don't concede. 

"That's football and we are doing this, but sometimes the opponent has quality as well. They come and they can score. Now it is our challenge to improve a lot of things, and come back strong."

Arsenal travel to FC Zurich in the Europa League on Thursday before hosting Everton in the Premier League three days later.

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