Neil Humphreys: Arsenal can go four and conquer
Gunners finally have an attacking quartet to shout about
Arsene Wenger has finally done his sums. Two plus two equals four. And four equals fantastic. The comic books say so.
And Arsenal's 5-1 victory against Everton yesterday morning (Singapore time) seemed to be ripped from the panels of a comic strip.
The win has the makings of a new franchise, a Justice League of colourful characters who are actually fun to watch.
Two new boys with something to prove and two old boys with everything to prove have combined to give the Gunners something they've lacked for years.
An attacking quartet, four dynamos equal to the sum of their parts, with different responsibilities but similar talents.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang resurrected an old relationship left behind in Germany.
Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Oezil resurrected an old relationship lost in England.
Together, they were three artists and an overlapping anchor man, a force of natural, speedy attacking, the modern template for success.
Manchester City already have one. Liverpool also have one, occasionally.
Manchester United and Tottenham almost have one, but there are still missing parts.
And now, suddenly, against all rational expectations, Wenger has thrown together the kind of sexy foursome that usually attracts silverware.
Of course, the naysayers will rightfully interrupt with a point of order.
It was only one game. It was only Everton.
And even then, Petr Cech still failed to grab that elusive clean sheet, the goalkeeper once again betrayed by an erratic back four.
The Gunners remain light years away from winning the title and face a desperate dash just to finish in the top four.
But there's now a glimmer of optimism that hadn't existed previously.
A week ago, the annual Arsenal obituary had already been written.
Wenger had signed too many archetypal Wenger footballers; slender, fleet-footed types that worked wonders in a bit of space, but tended to drown on a drizzling night in West Bromwich.
Wenger's critics were initially sniffy about Mkhitaryan's signing, focusing on his Manchester United stint and ignoring his prolific spell at Borussia Dortmund.
But the problem wasn't so much the midfielder as it was Jose Mourinho.
At United, Mkhitaryan played for a manager who has never particularly trusted footballers like him.
At Arsenal, Wenger is happy to indulge the sensitive artist.
Against Everton, he gave Mkhitaryan both a travel permit and a licence to kill. The forward roamed where he pleased in the hunt for centre backs.
Poor Michael Keane must have felt like a wounded man on the Emirates stage, suffering countless cutting runs from Mkhitaryan.
The Armenian picked up three assists and picked up where he left off with Aubameyang. In the case of the Dortmund old boys, familiarity breeds class.
Aubameyang's goal on debut offered a decent statement of intent.
But the striker's extraordinary speed - of both movement and thought - showed that Arsenal have signed their fastest forward since Thierry Henry.
The Gunners legend was equal parts athlete and architect, with a rare ability to design a game's pattern from the final third. Aubameyang's pace did something similar, pulling Sam Allardyce's sticky toffee puddings all over the place.
In the space left behind, Ramsey waltzed off with the match ball.
For some time, the Arsenal faithful have lamented the Welshman's inability to replicate his lung-bursting, Euro 2016 heroics in an Arsenal shirt.
But Wales colleague Gareth Bale drew markers away from central midfield and Ramsey profited through the middle. Aubameyang repeated Bale's trick against Everton.
Wenger expects 15 goals a season from Ramsey, who now has his first Arsenal hat-trick and the right people around him. The rest is up to him.
And then, there was Oezil.
As the creative fulcrum, he played like a boy let loose with a shopping trolley in a toy shop after spending most of the season playing with broken robots and yesterday's board games.
Oezil displayed a giddiness that suggested he couldn't quite believe he was surrounded by such attacking quality.
One flowing move of real beauty underlined his new-found enthusiasm and Arsenal's potential transformation.
In the sixth minute, Oezil found Aubameyang. Instinctively, the debutant spread the ball to his old Dortmund team-mate on the right. Mkhitaryan whipped a low cross into the box, where Ramsey was waiting to finish.
Oezil to Aubameyang to Mkhitaryan to Ramsey, four men, one move and a tantalising glimpse of the future with echoes of the past.
Fast, inventive and utterly beguiling, the Gunners once pioneered this stuff. Now they're playing catch-up.
It'll take time.
But at least they've finally found the right men for the job.