Arsene Wenger believes Tuesday's 5-0 Champions League rout of FC Porto sends out a message to the critics who have questioned his Arsenal side at times this season.
A hat-trick from Nicklas Bendtner plus goals from Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Eboue sent the north London club through to the quarter-finals via a 6-2 aggregate scoreline.
They had trailed 2-1 from the first leg in Portugal last month and Wenger was pleased with the spirit and commitment on display at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners remain in the hunt for Champions League and Premier League glory despite some heavily criticised performances this season, much to the delight of a vindicated Wenger.
"We are happy to be in the last eight - it is never easy to be in the top eight in Europe," said Wenger.
"At the beginning of the season, nobody expected this team to be where we are, but we showed we have mental strength, we have good desire and good quality.
"I believe it is more important on our side to continue to improve - there are still some weak moments in the game we can deal better with - so before we talk about Barcelona or Manchester United it is important we continue to improve, then we have a chance."
Wenger now believes the draw for the quarter-finals will pit the Gunners against another English club in Manchester United or Chelsea.
"I have a funny feeling, maybe it's good for us to play an English team," he added.
"We have not done well against Chelsea and not done well against Man Utd this year (in the Premier League) and it would be a good opportunity to show that we can do it against them."