Mikel Arteta says the competition for places at Arsenal is bearing fruit.
The Spanish midfielder is one of the players who has had to up his game in training to secure a place in the starting line-up, since the arrival of Mesut Ozil on transfer deadline day.
But far from complaining, Arteta says he is relishing the battle, which has clearly made the Gunners far stronger.
After they destroyed Napoli in the Champions League this week, some heady fans began to suggest the current Arsenal first-team could be as strong as the legendary ‘Invincibles’.
But while he is pleased to see that Ozil’s arrival has spurred them on to attain a higher level, Arteta thinks there is still room for improvement.
"I don't think we are at that level yet, but competition makes everyone work harder so it is a great thing because it raises the level," said Arteta of the comparisons to Arsenal’s greatest ever squad.
"If you don't play well for one or two games, then you can be dropped.
"We have players to come back like Santi [Cazorla] and Abou Diaby and that's the way we want it. When it is really tough, everyone is at 100 per cent and that makes a big difference."
Meanwhile, Ozil’s sumptuous finish against Napoli has finally silenced those critics who suggested his signing was a luxury for a team already rich in playmakers, but generally short on midfield hard-men and top-quality strikers.
Arteta accepts that perhaps a midfield artist like Ozil was not the most obvious addition to Arsenal’s squad. But boy is he glad the German international schemer is with him at the Emirates in any case.
"It was a great message from the club because everyone was really expecting a top, top player, probably a striker rather than a number 10, but in the end we got an amazing player and that gave a lift to everyone, not only us but you can see the people are excited again to come and watch and that makes a big difference," Arteta said.
"A player like Ozil gives you a step forward quality-wise and gives you another player on the pitch who can decide the game for you.
"He proved again that he is able to do it and that's always great. The more players you have like that, the better chance you have."