It is no exaggeration to say that Arsenal were really under pressure to produce something at Aston Villa today, with a woeful display in Dortmund meaning that Arsene Wenger and a large number of his players coming in for some fierce criticism from us fans and the football media in general.
But it should be no surprise that the Gunners stepped up, because we have done the same thing so many times in recent years. In fact, some of the best Arsenal performances in the last few years have come on the back of similar situations.
Cast your mind back to a couple of seasons ago, when Arsenal had been knocked out of both domestic cups by lower league opposition and then waved goodbye to any hope of a title challenge and been taken to pieces at the Emirates by Bayern Munich. We all expected the worst when we travelled to Germany for the return leg, but Arsenal shocked the world by becoming the first team in ages to beat the Bundesliga juggernauts on their own turf.
What about last season, when an opening day loss tyo Aston Villa saw the home crowd as furious as I have ever seen them. Wenger and the players somehow reacted to that adversity with a brilliany run of games that saw us shoot to the top of the table, where we may well have stayed if not for all the injury problems.
There is definitely a pattern forming here, which is why I welcomed all the criticism being thrown at us in the last few weeks. Hopefully, that will see us go on another charge. What do you think, Gooners?