Tim Holland speaks to Sahil Buta about Arsenal’s excellent start to the season, the important of Flamini and the possibility of winning the league

How do you rate Arsenal's start to the season?

How do you rate Arsenal’s start to the season?

It’s been an excellent start to the season – much better than most fans expected.

You were critical of Arsene Wenger’s transfer policy last season but his policy of not spending big went out the window with Ozil. How big of an impact has he made?

He’s made a massive impact and managed to lift the club and lift everyone’s game. But it’s still early days. I do think Arsene Wenger could manage his game time better to get the maximum out of him though.

Last season you were unsure of a top four finish. Do you think you can win the league this year?

I think that all depends on the rotation of the midfielders to keep everyone fresh and it also depends on our defenders. We need a backup striker although we might be able to cope as Podolski can play that role as can Walcott in a different way. But yes, if we can continue with our current form, why not?

You called for Flamini to come back last year and got your wish in the summer. How do you rate his time back at the club?

For me he’s been almost as important as Ozil for the club. He adds a defensive quality which we have lacked since Gilberto Silva.

Ramsey has really come of age this season. How does he rate against your other midfielders?

He’s now our best midfielder. Again for me he’s the all-round complete midfielder. His tackling stats are overlooked as he is scoring so freely

How big a blow is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s longterm injury?

it’s been a small blow due to the depth we have now. I suppose we’ve missed his and Walcott’s pace more than anything.

Do you think they’ll be comings and goings in the January transfer window?

I can’t see any going really, perhaps Vermaelen. I would like another striker coming in but I wouldn’t be surprised if no-one came in January

What’s been your opinion of West Ham this season?

West Ham look like a team that is set up for Andy Carroll but he’s not there. When he returns I think you’ll start winning more games plus he brings Kevin Nolan into the game as he’s always at his best playing with the big man.

Who should West Ham fans be wary of in the Arsenal side?

One word — Ramsey!

What’s your prediction for the match and for both clubs this season?

I’ll go with 2-0 to us and us to finish third. West Ham will finish in the top half if Carroll is back soon.

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