Aaron Ramsey and his Arsenal team-mates are refusing to rise to those critics who have already written them off as Premier League challengers, insisting they will be in the title reckoning come May.
In the space of just three weeks, Arsene Wenger’s side have gone from being championed as a team finally ready to end their 12-year wait for a top-flight crown to accusations of being plagued by the same flaws as seasons past.
On the evidence of Saturday’s laboured win against 10-man Newcastle — settled when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot deflected in off Fabricio Coloccini — you would side with the doubters.
‘My view on it (the criticism) is look at the table after 10 games and let’s see where we are then,’ said the Wales midfielder when pressed on the comments of Gary Neville, who labelled Wenger ‘arrogant or naive’ for not strengthening his team in areas of need.
‘Hopefully that upset at the beginning of the season (2-0 defeat at home to West Ham) will be our only one. If we go on a winning run now, and win our next five or six games, we will be there or thereabouts again.