Mikel Arteta has just endured a very difficult year, in personal terms at least, but it did end well for the Arsenal captain as he came on as a sub against Chelsea at Wembley last Sunday to help his team mates keep up the brilliant recent run of trophy success.
Just as we did last season, Arsenal added the Community Shield to the FA cup and although the Spaniard is well aware that this pre-season game does not mean a lot when the serious business of the Premier League begins, Arteta believes that the end of our wait for a win over a Jose Mourinho side could prove to be very significant.
He admits that this had been making our games against Chelsea more difficult that they might otherwise have been, but now that we have removed this mental obstacle from the players´ minds there should be nothing to stop Arsenal from having a fantastic season and finishing on top of the table next May.
He told Arsenal Player, “To come to Wembley again and get another title under the belt, I think it’s magnificent. I think you need to have consideration for the opponents as well.
“It made the day a little bit bigger than usual but we’re delighted for the fans, they gave us unbelievable support here, and for the boys as well, because they worked really hard.
“It’s very important to win the first title when we had the first chance. We want to be ruthless. I think we have built some momentum and some encouraging expectations. We have to maintain that now and the best way to do that is to keep winning.
“To get those defeats and draws against Chelsea over our heads is going to be really important for the future.”
And just as this result will have helped the self-belief and team spirit in the Arsenal camp, I think it will have had the opposite effect across town at Stamford Bridge. Those Chelsea players and their manager may well jst have a few more doubts in their minds now and with football matches and leagues often decided by small margins, will this prove to be a key change to the fortunes of both clubs?