Per Mertesacker has demanded that Arsenal emulate the consistency and focus of the Manchester clubs in order for Arsène Wenger's side to become contenders for the Premier League title.
The Germany centre-half believes the ingredients are in place for Arsenal to end their eight-year trophy drought, chiefly the talent to rise to any occasion. He notes that the club will not suffer a damaging player departure as they have done for the past two summers and, like many of his team-mates, he anticipates the addition of one or two quality signings.
Arsenal stand to enter the season in a stronger position but Mertesacker has spoken of the need for mental toughness at the outset. The club kick-off with a home game against Aston Villa before they play derbies at Fulham and against Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium. They must also contend with a two-leg play-off for Champions League group phase qualification in August.
"We must be well prepared both mentally and physically to do it straight from the off," Mertesacker said. "It's very hard to be consistent and that's the main reason for Manchester City and Manchester United being successful in the last two years. They have shown for the whole season that they are consistent and that will be our main focus for the next season to show that as well.
"We haven't sold any players yet so we are coming from a good base. We're at a good level and no one is leaving. Maybe someone will come and strengthen our squad, so it's a better position to be in than last summer when we lost two important players [in Robin van Persie and Alex Song]. I would say consistency is the most important thing. If we can do that, then we should be challenging for trophies and titles."
Mertesacker is preparing in Indonesia, where Arsenal have begun their pre-season tour, and he trained in torrential rain on Saturday. There are fears that the pitch at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, where the club face an Indonesian Dream Team on Sunday, could be heavy because of the monsoon.
Mertesacker simply wants to put match minutes in his legs before a season in which he will start as a key defensive figure. Thomas Vermaelen, the captain, is struggling to be fit after aggravating the back problem that he carried at the end of last season.
"It's a big year for us," Mertesacker said, at a promotional event for the sponsors, Emirates. "We've got the World Cup at the end of it but the focus has to be on Arsenal because we want to win things and be successful this year. We had such a strong finish at the end of last season, especially in the final 10 games, and that is the target for the whole season."