Jack Wilshere says Arsenal now have the confidence and capability to maintain their current form and challenge for trophies on multiple fronts.
The England midfielder, who turned 22 on New Year’s Day, says the league leaders have learnt from the mistakes of previous campaigns and are now primed to succeed.
He said: "Something clicked towards the end of last season when we knew we had to get fourth. There were games we weren't playing well in, but we were still winning and that has carried on this season."
Arsenal have won each of their last four games in all competitions, and have just suffered one league defeat in their past ten outings – and while not performing at their brilliant best throughout, Wilshere believes it a positive sign that he and his team-mates have discovered how to ‘win ugly’.
Arsenal's next five games
- 13 Jan: Aston Villa (A)
- 18 Jan: Fulham (H)
- 25 Jan: Coventry (H) FA Cup
- 28 Jan: Southampton (A)
- 2 Feb: Crystal Palace (H)
He added: "Sometimes you can't always play your best and you have to still win games - you have seen the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea do that in the past and we are doing it now.
"Every team is going to go through a little blip. We had ours and luckily came back strong."
Wilshere was speaking after Arsenal’s most recent success – a 2-0 home victory over rivals Tottenham Hotspur in The FA Cup Third Round – and Arsene Wenger’s men now have a week to recover before resuming their charge for a first league title in 10 years.
The Gunners face Aston Villa on Monday 13 January, when they will be out to maintain their one-point lead at the top of the table, with rivals Chelsea and Manchester City both in action earlier over the weekend.
Wenger's men will have to cope for the remainder of the season without the injured Theo Walcott, who was ruled out for at least six months with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of the left knee.
However, confidence remains high among the Arsenal ranks Wilshere insisted he and his team-mates will pay no attention to the doubters.
He said: "We have won a few games in a row now. We are in a good place in the league, in the next round of The FA Cup and we have a break to recover.
"We know what we can do. There is great character in this squad, a great team spirit. We are genuine friends off the pitch. We have a mix of cultures - German, English, Spanish - but we all get on.
"That is helping us and we are concentrating on ourselves rather than anyone else."