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.