Even the most jaded among us have to admit: this Arsenal team is something special

Aaron Ramsdale celebrates Patrick Bamford missing a penalty for Leeds .

It augurs well when the breaks start going your way.

Aaron Ramsdale knew it, judging by his fist-pumping reaction to Patrick Bamford’s penalty miss at Elland Road;

Mikel Arteta almost certainly did, if his visible ecstasy at seeing Leeds correctly denied another go in injury time is any measure.

For the second time in 72 hours Arsenal rode their luck in navigating a tricky away assignment and with each banana skin avoided the sense grows that they are on to something special.

Nine wins from 10 top-flight games bear out that impression.

It is Arsenal’s best start to a Premier League season, a point ahead of the Invincibles’ 2003 tally, and their strongest overall in 118 seasons of trying.

Even the most jaded among their cohort can allow themselves a glint in the eye.

Arteta is asked every week to set a hare running and announce his team are in a title race; already cautious in public he will never dangle that kind of red meat but if they sustain this form the question will be redundant.

Can they do it? A four-point lead can be overhauled within a week but feels sufficient to allow the discussion.

October always seemed a month that would set a realistic tone for Arsenal: nine games presented an absurd schedule and Arteta, always more forthcoming in this topic, highlighted that it would take delicate management.

But they have won all five to date, putting down the required marker in beating Spurs and Liverpool so thrillingly, and the end of the tightrope is nearing.

The World Cup break appears an obvious point for a full assessment.

Arsenal play only four more times in the Premier League before then and if they have maintained this pace by the 14-game mark there will be no flying beneath the radar.

Southampton and Nottingham Forest will hold few fears over the next fortnight and Wolves, their final opponents until Boxing Day, may be regarded similarly unless a new manager bounce pervades Molineux.

The visit to Stamford Bridge on 6 November may be where things get interesting: if Arteta can get the better of Graham Potter, a kindred spirit but behind the Spaniard in reshaping Chelsea, Arsenal will have answered most of the relevant questions by the time eyes switch to Qatar.

One doubt will linger into next year.

Arsenal were due to host Manchester City on Wednesday until their rescheduled Europa League tie against PSV Eindhoven took priority.

Should current form be repeated to the letter they may not have to beat Pep Guardiola’s side this season, but reality will not be so simple: Arsenal should have prevailed when they met at the Emirates on New Year’s Day, instead reverting to modern-day type and falling short.

They have not won that fixture in the league for seven years and it feels like the final frontier to potential greatness.

Arteta will not mind its postponement, even though his players would have fed on the atmosphere that has, against stereotype, made their home a bearpit.

While Arsenal are playing scintillating football, Martin Ødegaard threading killer passes through to Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka on either side while Gabriel Jesus sets a rattling tempo up front and a reborn Granit Xhaka runs the midfield, their manager knows where the frayed edges are.

The squad is thin: he complained about having only 16 senior outfield players available to face Bodø/Glimt last Thursday yet could hardly point to a distended injury list.

Jesus was excused from the journey but Arteta would ideally have left others at home too.

The minutes required of senior players are stacking up and fatigue increases the likelihood of mistakes.

A visit from City might have fully exposed the cracks Leeds failed to wrench open.

Few sides can operate at full tilt when asked to perform twice a week but the concern is that, if they are wobbling now, another month of the same will be too much.

It would help if PSV can be seen off so Arsenal’s final group stage match against FC Zürich can be entrusted to the hopefuls.

For once they are blessed with enviable strength in defence but the rest of Arteta’s first-choice side picks itself: lose a couple of the front six for an extended spell and the tightly wound nature of their game may unravel.

That can be remedied in the January transfer market, where funds will be made available for the depth Arteta needs if the biggest prize looks attainable.

Perhaps he and his conditioning staff will, through skill and chance, find they navigate the campaign with no bigname absences beyond the existing injury to Emile Smith Rowe.

If they can manage that, anything seems possible. Fortune and brilliance have combined to win many a title race: Arsenal can trust in the latter but must hope their stock of the former remains bountiful.

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