Nasri: This could be our year
Midfielders Samir Nasri is optimistic it could be Arsenal's turn to win the Barclays Premier League title.
A weekend of favourable results for the Gunners has convinced the French star that the north London side can go all the way. Arsene Wenger's side registered a second away win in three days when they followed up the success at Wolverhampton Wanderers by triumphing 2-1 at Everton. It followed on from Manchester United gaining a fortunate 2-2 draw at Aston Villa and then Chelsea suffering a shock 3-0 home reversal against Sunderland.
Arsenal are now lying in second spot, just two points behind the Blues.
Nasri said: "You have got to say it was an excellent weekend for us with United drawing and Chelsea defeated. "Is it our title year? It is definitely a case of being optimistic for the future and, maybe, it could be our turn. "We are in a good position, just behind Chelsea, which is quite exciting for us and the league as a whole."
Nasri believes Arsenal have restored their reputation after shock home defeats to newly promoted West Brom and Newcastle ahead of the weekend derby with Tottenham.
He said: "Having done so well, now we must look ahead to what will be a very difficult game on Saturday (against Tottenham Hotspur). We will have to fight hard to get the result but I feel our reputation is restored and we can do well."
Nasri is currently preparing for France's friendly international with England at Wembley on Wedbnesday evening and has mixed feelings about the timing of the international. He said: "Arsenal have got big games coming up so maybe the fixture-wise, it is not ideal. But it is always a big game against England and no one would turn down the chance to play at Wembley. There is always extra rivalry between England and France."
Crouch has Gunners in his sights
Striker Peter Crouch is looking to help fire Tottenham Hotspur to victory against local rivals Arsenal.
After netting his first Barclays Premier League goal of the season, the England frontman has set his sights on the club's north London neighbours. The Spurs striker had yet to get off the mark in the league before pouncing on a defensive mistake to score in Saturday's 4-2 victory over Blackburn Rovers. But he has still been pleased with his overall form this term, having found the target five times in Europe and contributed several assists.
Crouch said: "I have scored six goals this season and I have been part of another five maybe - that is 11 goals. Everyone loves scoring, don't get me wrong, and I am no different. When you are a striker you get judged on that. I have been scoring in the Champions League and my last goal was against Inter Milan - which was only a couple of games ago. So, yes, I feel confident that I will score goals and it was pleasing to get one against Blackburn. I have been pleased with my performances and the manager would not play me if he did not think I was having an impact."
The next challenge for Tottenham is a north London derby at Emirates Stadium on Saturday and Crouch is in confident mood.
He does not believe much should be read into Spurs' 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Gunners in the Carling Cup earlier in the season, insisting the gap between the fierce rivals has narrowed.
"We are looking forward to the game at Arsenal. We are not there yet, but we are certainly a lot closer to them than we have been for a long time," said Crouch.
"They are a top-quality side with a lot of young players. We changed our side around in the Carling Cup when Arsenal won 4-1 but they were fantastic. We know that they are a great side but I believe that on our day we can beat anyone. If you really want to have a proper impact on the league you have to go to places like Arsenal and pick up points. We have a lot of talent to do that."
Crouch has been included in Fabio Capello's England squad for the friendly against France on Wednesday, when he will be hoping to continue his fine form at international level.
He added: "I can't put my finger on why I have scored so many goals for England and in the Champions League.I just try to do well for Tottenham and, if that catches the eye of the England manager, then great. But if not I am happy doing the business here."
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ETA: JACK WILSHERE NEWS
Wilshere withdraws from England squad
Jack Wilshere has withdrawn from the England squad ahead of Wednesday’s friendly against France due to injury.
The Arsenal midfielder had been tipped to make his first start for the Three Lions at Wembley but Fabio Capello has confirmed that Wilshere will miss the game.
The 18-year-old did not take part in Tuesday’s training session and afterwards the England manager said: "Wilshere is going home."
He will return to Arsenal ahead of Saturday’s Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur.
Capello has confirmed Kieran Gibbs will start the game with Theo Walcott is also in the squad.