Chelsea warned over 'complacency'

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The Independent Football

Chelsea won last season's championship by 12 points. However, the Arsenal manager has found out how tough it is to hold on to the trophy after failing to secure back-to-back titles despite winning the League three times in eight seasons.

"I don't necessarily think it is more difficult to retain the title, but you can lose some of your urgency," Wenger said. "Having won the title already can make you less vigilant and that means when you go to places like Bolton you only get a draw whereas the season before you took three points. The danger is from within yourself rather than from the opposition and sometimes it can become a little bit too easy."

Arsenal are without the injured defender Sol Campbell and the striker Jose Antonio Reyes, who is suspended, for tomorrow's game against Newcastle at Highbury, but the new loan signing Alex Song comes straight into the squad.

Wenger also has high hopes for Ashley Cole, who he believes will captain Arsenal in the future after admitting the club now realise the defender's true worth after the Chelsea tapping-up row.

"It has all been settled now. Maybe he realised how much the club is worth to him and Arsenal realised how important he is for the club," Wenger said.

"If Ashley comes out of this stronger, then we would not have wasted our time. It would have been a shame if he and the club split because of it."

The Arsenal winger David Bentley has been put up for sale after Wenger accepted his transfer request. Bentley, 20, spent last season on loan with Norwich.