While Arsenal currently command the top of the Premier League, brushed Tottenham Hotspur aside in the third round of the FA Cup and will engage in a marquee two-legged Champions League knockout showdown against their tormentors from last season, Bayern Munich, it is fair to say their present is secured.
Judging from the fine work Carl Laraman is doing in the FA Youth Cup with the club's young Guns, one could argue their future looks promising, also.
Arsenal's Under-18 side were simply stupendous on Monday, January 6, with exceptional performances from hat-trick hero Chuba Akpom and the 16-year-old dubbed 'the next Jack Wilshere'; Dan Crowley, who was not even born when Arsene Wenger took charge of his first game with the seniors.
The way Wenger sets up his senior side, is a formation that is replicated through the youth levels of Arsenal football club so that graduates of the academy can settle into familiar tactics despite different squad-mates.
Against Posh, Akpom played the lone-striker's role that would normally be occupied by Olivier Giroud, Dan Crowley became Mesut Ozil, while Maitland Niles and Alex Iwobi supported from the wide forward positions like Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott.
The manner in which Crowley manipulates the football, finds his team-mates through tight opposition defenders is certainly reminiscent of some of the fine number tens of yesteryear. For the build-up to the first goal, by Akpom, for instance, Crowley plays with a composure that belies his teenage years, for the second he demonstrated his ambidexterity, while his own goals were also aesthetically-pleasing. particularly the fifth - which ricocheted off the post.
image: © Kieran Clarke