Friday night was arguably as good as it’s ever been for Arsenal during the Mikel Arteta era.
Yes there have been FA Cups and Community Shields, but in terms of a 90 minute performance it’s difficult to think of one that tops the 3-1 victory over Aston Villa. The Spaniard himself is on board with that theory.
“It probably is,” he said on Monday. “The way we started, the way we played, the confidence that we showed, the rhythm, and the efficiency as well in every action, how we attacked the opponents’ half as well and the goals we scored. It probably was, yes.”
Now, though, the challenge is repeating it.
The temptation will be there for Arteta to stick with what worked so fantastically well against Villa, but as the Gunners prepare to host Leeds in the Carabao Cup, it’s difficult to see him doing that.
No European football means that Arsenal’s squad players have barely featured at all this season, and if that continues on Tuesday then there will surely be plenty of discontent.
There is nobody for whom that is more true that Bernd Leno, who has well and truly been demoted to second choice goalkeeper thanks to the impressive performances of Aaron Ramsdale between the sticks at the Emirates this season.