Arsene Wenger has claimed that his Arsenal side can no longer be accused of being soft as the Gunners plot a first Premier League title in 12 years.

Wenger's side would move top of the league for at least 24 hours if they beat Everton on Saturday, with leaders Manchester City facing Manchester United on Sunday.

The North Londoners' mental strength has long been questioned, with the gunners leading the title race for 128 days in 2013-14 - twice as many as eventual champions City - before ultimately finishing fourth.

Tuesday's 2-0 Champions League win over Bayern Munich served to bolster the feel-good factor around the Emirates, and Wenger warns that his troops are stoic enough to handle any pressure these days.

"What is the most important for me is to continue to develop as a team, to feel that we grow in the quality of our game," he told reporters.

"We have maybe a better discipline. People reproached us many times, 'Okay, Arsenal play football but they are a bit fragile'.

"Before, maybe, when we were not dominating completely the game, we were a bit insecure. On Tuesday night, Bayern had a lot of the ball, but we could handle that. "We are more mature, for sure.

Two years ago we were top of the league for a long time. After, we lost one or two players, and we lost one or two big games, that was the killer for us.

I feel today we are better prepared. We know, as well, the competition will be long. We have played nine games, there is a long way to go."

Wenger, who turned 66 on Friday, has won nine major trophies during his 19-year spell in North London. 


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