Arsenal can win the Premier League title, says Robert Pires

Robert Pires and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal training Backpage Pix

Former Arsenal wideman Roberto Pires believes that Unai Emery's side are genuine title contenders this season and has backed them to surprise a few observers.

Arsenal haven't won the Premier League since 2004, but are currently enjoying a fine run of form, having gone 16 games unbeaten in all competitions.

Ahead of Sunday's trip to Bournemouth, the North London giants sit on 24 points after 12 matches, 11 behind leaders Manchester City having played one game fewer.

"This team and this squad can fight with Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United because they have quality and a great coach," Pires told ESPN.

"Unai Emery is doing well, we are unbeaten in two months and are enjoying a very good run," he added. "The players have found new football and they are more confident.

"They can fight for the title and win it."

After losing their opening two matches, Arsenal won seven in a row before drawing their last three - and losing ground on the top four in the process.

Pires, who was part of Arsenal's Invincibles side that went 49 games without defeat and clinched the title in 2004, believes Emery is fully vindicating the Gunners' decision to appoint him as Arsene Wenger's successor.

"For Arsenal, it was very important to find a good manager, especially after Wenger," Pires continued. "I think they've found it, because Emery is a winner.

"He won titles with Sevilla, he won trophies with Paris Saint-Germain, and I think he will have a successful career at Arsenal.

"He's imposed discipline in the team, he's determined, he has conviction and he's a professional," the former France international concluded. "I believe Emery was a good decision."