Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said after their 2-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, that his team had shown they have what it takes to be league contenders.
He praised the character, desire and determination of his players, against a Southampton side who he rated highly.
Arsenal returned to winning away against the Saints, after losing to Manchester United prior to the international break, thanks to two goals from Olivier Giroud.
“We have a long way to go, but we have the ambition, the focus, the concentration and the desire are there,” Wenger said after Saturday's game.
“We played against a good Southampton side today who tried to stop us from playing. They did it well and in the end we couldn’t take our chances, but we took advantage of their two mistakes.
“Overall you could see why they have played a draw at Manchester United, why they had won at Liverpool because they conceded only five goals until today.
“They are a team who is very well organised and our technical quality helped us to get away with a win today.
“I am convinced that after a break like that, the character is tested. Can you win when you have to in a season like that, straight away again after a big defeat? That was really at stake for us."