By Giuseppe Muro

Arsène Wenger believes Arsenal can no longer be ‘roughed up’.

The Gunners have shown a robust character that may have been missing in recent years where teams felt they could negate the footballing style adopted by Wenger with a muscular approach. Arsenal were sometimes classed as a ‘soft touch’ but that is certainly not the case now as they have shown with a string of solid displays on the road.

Aesthetically pleasing football is something we have come to expect from Wenger’s side but an admission from Everton captain Phil Neville that his team could not impose their physical game on the Gunners is not something you hear every day.

“I take that as a compliment because before people felt they could do that [be physical],” said Wenger. “I feel it’s part of maturing, becoming a man.

“Unfortunately it goes down with the worst Fair Play record and we have to change that but it shows we are more committed.

“If you look at our away record and where we have played until now you have to accept that we have made an improvement on that front.

“People still have doubts about that but our numbers results away from home have been good.”

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19 Nov 2010