Jack Wilshere believes that an improved team spirit is the reason that Arsenal have enjoyed a successful start to the season.

The Gunners sit top of the Premier League and are in control of their own fate in the Champions League after defeating Borussia Dortmund to sit level on points at the top of the group with Napoli.

There was a mini setback last weekend when Arsene Wenger's side lost 1-0 to Manchester United at Old Trafford but they remain two points clear of second-placed Liverpool after losing just two of their opening 11 league games.

After suffering defeat on the opening day to Aston Villa there was plenty of negativity from supporters but the arrival of Mesut Ozil and some impressive results have led to many suggesting the club can finally end their long wait for a major trophy.

And Wilshere firmly believes that their excellent start is down to a strong bond amongst the squad.

"It [our team spirit] is massive," Wilshere told the official Arsenal website. "We've been out a few times. We didn't do it for a couple of years but over the last six months we go out for team dinners and we meet up outside of football, which is good for the team.

"Sometimes you just want to get away from football, you want to sit down and talk about life, your family and things like that. We've been doing that this season and it's really showing on the pitch.

"We've done really well this season and towards the end of last season; I think the team spirit plays a massive part in that."

Wilshere has once again had his fair share of injury problems this season but he will hope to be in contention for a starting berth for Arsenal's next league game against high-flying Southampton at the Emirates on 23 November.

Wenger will be looking for his side to respond in a positive way after the loss to United and keeping the players in high spirits will be vital.