In the aftermath of Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Manchester United, a bevvy of legendary players gathered on the pitch for a quick reunion.
Not seen together since their days at Highbury, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Gilberto Silva and Jens Lehmann and Edu were all smiles as they shared a few words and posed for snaps.
Later, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka joined them. Hugs and high fives were exchanged, more photos were taken and paternal words of advice were imparted.
It was heart-warming to see, all the more so given the concerns some of the legends had raised earlier in the season about the club’s direction of travel under Stan and Josh Kroenke.
For Mikel Arteta, who has spoken so passionately this season about the importance of presenting a unified front, it was particularly emotional.
Ahead of the Leeds United game, he underlined that positive influences will always be welcomed with open arms and that the club should continue to draw on its rich history.
“There are many, many more positives than negatives,” he said of the groundswell of support for his team.
“We had a great example with the ex-players and all the legends and what happened a few weeks ago at the Emirates which was emotional and is natural, organic, it’s just happening.
“Now, hopefully, they have realised that anyone who wants to contribute to what we are doing, genuinely contribute and help and give advice or support or whatever, he is more than welcome to come.
“Anybody who wants to poison the club is going to be very far away from the club.
“With the history that we have, if we don’t use it, we are losing a big percentage and margin in relation to other teams.
We have that [advantage] because we have so much success and incredible people and players in this football club’s history. We have to encourage that to come back to the club and make us stronger. That’s my aim and the club’s aim, that’s it.”
With a huge north London derby coming up this week, he hopes his young squad can take inspiration from the success achieved by their predecessors at White Hart Lane.
“It is phenomenal, those experiences, how they won it [the league], how they were invincible,” he said.
“For this generation, it would be incredible and hopefully we can do it naturally with everybody feeling in the right place.”