The recent 4-1 mauling at the hands of current champions Manchester City was a watershed moment.

It may have made us realise that there is still work to do in order for Mikel Arteta and Edu to return this club back to the very top.

But it also showed us a few other things.

Firstly, the contrast in our fanbase.

For the best part of a decade, Arsenal fans were divided. Wenger fans, those who wanted him cast aside and a growing percentage who revelled in the fire and brimstone, cackling wildly into a camera lens.

The decision to not only bring Arteta and Edu in – but also to stick with them to allow the duo to build something – has seen the welcome return of true support.

Win or lose, we’re all still Gooners. And the fans who sang loudly and proudly from minute one to minute 90 and after – even after having to watch our boys being outplayed so convincingly, was a symbol of a fanbase that is synchronised.

Or at least largely.

There are still many of us who overlook the fact that this side simply has limitations and that the plan is far from complete. There is work for us to do still. 

But the finger-pointing continues.

The vitriol aimed at Rob Holding and Thomas Partey was ridiculous in the aftermath of our 4-1 loss. If anyone read the spewing of comments and posts post-match, they would read about a match that was lost because of Holding’s lack of skill at the back. Or because Thomas Partey has been woefully off-form in the last few games.

Not because City laid traps all over the pitch and Pep Guardiola set his team up to counteract any strengths we had. 

Or the fact that Kevin De Bruyne had one of his best ever games. The ginger whizz was unplayable, playing just off Haaland, who was the perfect foil for making space and dragging defenders out to mark him, while the Belgian playmaker enjoyed the space afforded to him to full effect.

Sometimes we have to admit that the other team were better.

Arsenal players react after conceding a third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on April 26, 2023. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

It might be harder to do that because we were fighting for a title for the first time since 2009.

But still, we’re all adults. Can’t we just hold our hands up and swallow the pride?

And that bitter pill to swallow becomes easier when we see that the future is bright for us.

A squad full of hungry (will be even more famished next season, skillful players who love the club.

While this City game was chastening, it was also full of optimism if you choose to look for the right things.

I went into the game expecting City to win – but it didn’t mean I overlooked what a fantastic season we’ve had, or the green shoots of growth that are running throughout our team.

City may have won the battle, but we’re well set for the war.