Arsene Wenger has boldly claimed his current Arsenal squad is the best he has produced at the club.
The statement would appear to be an attempt to further raise the confidence of his in-form players ahead of Sunday afternoon's clash at Manchester City, while also knocking those who have left.
Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure have all left Arsenal for City over recent years, while previous Wenger squads have gone unbeaten on the way to the Premier League crown in 2003/04 and also won the Double in 2002.
But the Gunners boss thinks his current selection of players, who have not lost so far this season despite the previous doom and gloom about Robin van Persie's move to Manchester United and Alex Song's transfer to Barcelona, are the pick of the bunch.
Wenger said in the Daily Star Sunday: "As a squad, I have more quality. This is the best since I have been here.
"When you consider the players out injured like Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Emmanuel Frimpong, it only adds to what I believe. Yes, the best."
Santi Cazorla has been one of the star performers since the Spaniard's summer arrival from Malaga and Wenger hopes the playmaker can continue to have an influence.
"Santi is technically superb, linking the defence and attack like the way (Cesc) Fabregas did for us," he said.
"With another country he would have won at least 100 caps. I was interested in signing him from Malaga last season but they persuaded him to stay then they went into No Man's Land and I found it hard to find anyone who would talk. We got there in the end. He is a huge signing for us.
"The Spanish way of thinking and playing is what I am trying to achieve. English players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere are performing that way already.
"I believe this is the way forward and I hope my other English players will follow."
Abou Diaby's return to fitness has been another key performer for Arsenal after overcoming last season's injury nightmares.
"When you consider Abou was out for a year and has returned in such style and quality you realise what a player he is, one of the finest in his position," said Wenger.
"He is already a star for France. His return to play like this should be an inspiration to Wilshere, proving you can return and be a world-beater again."
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