Mikel Arteta must surely have been delighted by what he saw from his Arsenal players against Chelsea in the Gunners last fixture.
Their performance was full of desire, work-rate, commitment and effort – all of the things that the Spaniard has been banging on about all season long.
Whether it marks a turning point will only be seen over the next few games, and former Arsenal man, Michael Thomas, has suggested that the youngsters who took their chance, should be handed further opportunities by the manager.
“The young players looked hungry as ever, and worked for the badge, the manager and the fans,” he told CaughtOffside.
“All the young players were pushing in the Europa League and more than deserved their chance to show the quality they can bring to the team. I hope they’re in the starting XI for the next game.”
If there was one small criticism, it was a lack of creativity at some points during the 90 minutes.
To that end, it was a game made for Mesut Ozil, though Thomas believes his time at the club is over. A rumour that Christian Eriksen might be targeted to replace Ozil has been met with the thumbs up, however.
“I think his creativity would be an amazing addition to the current team,” Thomas added.
“He knows the league and Arteta’s style would suit him. His stats speak for themselves.
“I think obviously Ozil’s time is up, and along with Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock in that central position, he (Eriksen) would be a good player to learn from.”
Inter Milan have made it clear that the former Tottenham man is for sale per an interview their CEO gave to Sky Sports Italia, cited by France24, but whether he is brave enough to make the move to the other half of north London remains to be seen.