Manager goes into Brentford rematch insisting his side now have the mental toughness they lacked in opening-day defeat

Nearly four weeks have passed since Arsenal last played at the Emirates and there will not be many fond memories of that occasion. They toiled against Burnley and, in keeping with current fashion, ended with 10 men. Fine margins like this are supposed to matter when you are fighting for the top four: Sean Dyche’s side had only kept one away clean sheet in the league all season so it was surprising that they held out for a point in relative comfort.

Arsenal were sixth then, just as they are now, but the picture is markedly different. The scales have tipped in their favour. A win at Molineux in their only game of the intervening period helped but the shortcomings of those around them have done just as much to define the mood. Since the draw with Burnley, the two teams above them and the pair below have played a total of 10 games and amassed 12 points. Manchester United, West Ham, Tottenham and Wolves remain squarely in the Champions League race but, despite barely kicking a ball for a month, Arsenal find themselves in the box seat.

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