Arsenal's season-opener at home against Aston Villa could have not gotten us off to a worse-start as a 3-1 loss at home seemed to expose us as not so much in-form as lucky over the final three months of last season. We weren't stymied by our opposition so much as undone by our own frailties. How times have changed.
That debacle seems as far back in the past as, well as the signing of Mesut Özil. Even the apparent warnings and reminders of seasons past seem to have faded in the rearview. As recently as last year, we might look upon a trip like this one as just the kind we would stumble over, dropping vital points against an inferior side as we struggled vainly to secure that fourth-place trophy.