Nasri - Blues not as strong
Samir Nasri hopes Arsenal can mount a title challenge and believes Chelsea's squad is not as strong.
Last Updated: 16/11/10 9:36am
Samir Nasri is hopeful Arsenal can mount a sustained title challenge and believes champions Chelsea's squad is not as strong as last year.
Arsenal closed to within two points of Chelsea over the weekend after beating Everton a couple of hours before the Premier League leaders lost 3-0 at home to Sunderland.
With Manchester duo City and United also dropping points, Nasri was delighted to see the Gunners take advantage of their rivals' slip-ups.
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."
The French midfielder was surprised by Chelsea's defeat by Sunderland and believes Carlo Ancelotti no longer possesses the same strength in depth.
He added: "I was very surprised. 3-0 at home against Sunderland? No. I'd thought perhaps at the most a draw, or a 1-0 defeat, but 3-0? No, no, no. Not at all.
"But the absence of John Terry, Alex, Essien as well, that made a big difference. Chelsea have lost Ballack, have lost Deco in the midfield, Ricardo Carvalho also and they haven't really replaced him. So much the better.
"Their first-choice XI is good, but the group I think has lost a bit in terms of quantity and quality compared to last season."
Nasri, meanwhile, also believes Arsenal have restored their reputation after shock home defeats by 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).
"We will have to fight hard to get the result, but I feel our reputation is restored and we can do well."