Arsenal skipper Robin Van Persie is hoping last night's Champions League qualifying victory over Udinese will be the first of many surprises this season.
The doubters have been out over the Gunners' trophy credentials this term, with Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri's departures leaving Arsene Wenger to rely on untested youngsters at the Emirates.
However, their performance at the Stadio Friuli has given the Gunners some confidence to look forward with, and Van Persie has already set his sights on the challenge of a trip to Manchester United this weekend.
"It has been a hard week with Cesc leaving and Samir leaving and we have been in the papers for the wrong reasons sometimes but I think that we played well and that is a positive sign," the Dutch international told Arsenal online.
"Now we have to show it every few days because that's football, we can't live off this night for the rest of the month or the rest of the year. Now I'm looking forward to Manchester United.
"It was tough against Udinese, we had to dig deep, but we can be proud of ourselves because we had a really good performance. We were a bit shaky in the first half, especially when they had chances and they scored. But we came back really well. Our first goal finished them off a bit mentally, it was tough for them to regroup after that.
"I think we surprised a few people and hopefully we can do that more often."
The striker was quick to pay tribute to some of the youth players who shone in Italy on Wednesday, with the striker proud to lead out a side that helped Arsenal qualify for the Champions League proper for a 14th consecutive time.
With the first hurdle over though, Van Persie has called on his teammates to follow-up the performance consistently in both league and cup competitions.
“If you look at the guys and their ages, what they showed in the second half was very promising. I’m really pleased with that commitment,” he continued.
“Some people questioned our mental strength, but if you look at the game that’s what we showed.
“Now it’s up to us to show that every three or four days, not just tonight. We have to do that over and over again, that’s just football.”
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