Friedel said: "I think for one of the first times since I've been at the club, man-for-man we were every bit as good as Arsenal, if not better than them, walking out in the tunnel.
"When we finished in sixth position a few years ago, we had a very, very good squad, with Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Damien Duff and Matt Jansen.
"But I think this squad is probably even stronger, and that's why for the first time since we've lined up against Arsenal, I think we matched them.
"That's a big difference from playing against the likes of Bergkamp, Vieira, Overmars, Petit, Adams and Keown.
"I'm not taking anything away from Arsenal by saying that. They are an outstanding team, but I think our squad has got a lot stronger.
"When we go into games now, we feel that we should be getting points every time. If we don't get points, then we feel very disappointed."