They say you notice things when you’re at a game that you might not night see when watching Arsenal on TV.
My biggest takeaway from my first ever NLD I attended; was we might have more leaders than I gave the squad credit for.
Even when we have had decent squads the accusation has been that Arsenal lacked the mentality to cope with the crucial moments in games and seasons.
Like Man United, it seemed this summer there had been an effort to consider the type of characters we were bringing into our dressing room. That’s what our recruitment team had been criticised for, not taking into account the personalities we were adding to the group.
There were hints on Sunday that we have talent with the right mindset. Most of those hints were actually when we didn’t have the ball.
Odegaard before most set pieces took the opportunity to encourage the crowd to be louder.
Ramsdale couldn’t have done more to endear himself with Gooners.
He celebrated a Harry Kane miss like he had just scored himself.
He couldn’t take a sip out of his water bottle without interacting with those in the stands.
At full time he went on his own personal lap of honour, applauding each corner of the ground.
Not bad for a keeper who some were not sure was worth the price tag or should be picked ahead of Leno.
While a Saka and Smith-Rowe have an obvious connection with the club, a Ramsdale and Ben White are British, meaning they have grown up with the Gunners as one of the biggest sides in the country. So, for them to play for the Arsenal is a big deal, the biggest level they will play at and most likely they won’t have a desire to move on.
Tommiyasu has become a fan favourite purely for his work-rate, something the scout team would have identified.
Forget what Odegaard did on the ball, his work-rate off it was that of a leader.
It’s rare that a player so new at the club would take the responsibility he did to press.
The Norwegian was a small shark in an ocean at Real Madrid but now can be a huge Fish in the smaller pond that is Arsenal.
The midfielder has lived with expectation since a teenager that he would be the next big thing in the sport, so has an appetite to prove himself. That’s something we can use to our advantage.
It’s too early to say that we now have cured our problems and have a mentally strong team. The true test of that is when things are going wrong.
This is still the same group who were bullied by Brentford and Chelsea and folded like a deck of cards at the Etihad.
Our manager might argue that after that it was only after the international break where he could play his best team.
I’m though the first to point out when Arsenal look mentally weak so it’s only correct when it’s the other way around.