By Peter Crouch for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:24 GMT, 21 February 2020 | Updated: 22:24 GMT, 21 February 2020
On the final day of November, this column was devoted to Arsenal's troubles.
It was in the middle of their bleak mid-winter and I wrote how their aura had disappeared and the club that used to be known for setting standards had allowed those standards to slip.
I have watched Arsenal consistently since that day, so the final act of last Sunday's 4-0 win over Newcastle struck a chord.
The reaction of Arsenal's players to Alexandre Lacazette's goal against Newcastle said a lot
The way Arsenal's players went to engulf Alexandre Lacazette after he had scored his first goal in nine matches was significant.
At long last, there looked to be some spirit. I am not getting carried away and saying they are back — they remain some distance from where they used to be — but I saw flashes of character, togetherness and camaraderie in the way Lacazette was swamped.
For that, I have to give full credit to Mikel Arteta. You think about the situation the new manager walked into last December. The atmosphere was poisonous, there was the infamous falling-out between Granit Xhaka and the crowd and Arsenal looked much more like individuals than a team.
The way all of the team went to embrace the Frenchman suggests that team spirit is growing
Such a combination of circumstances would have tested the most experienced manager, so Arteta looked like he was on a hiding to nothing when he walked into that mess. The vast majority had misgivings about the characters in the squad he had inherited. Few expected them to knuckle down.
Credit, then, where it is due. You can say to me: 'Oh, it was only Newcastle!' but I have been in enough dressing rooms to understand when something is genuine and the way six or seven players ran to be with Lacazette was not just for the cameras.
It reminded me, in