It must have hurt Unai Emery to see Arsenal’s 22-match unbeaten streak come to an end at the hands of Southampton last weekend.
That being said, the team who turned up at St Mary’s Stadium didn’t exactly look like one playing to keep such a strong record alive.
The Gunners twice went behind courtesy of Danny Ings in the first half, but they couldn’t peg back their hosts a third time after Charlie Austin nodded into an open net with five minutes remaining.
The confidence lost from the 3-2 defeat appeared to carry into Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Tottenham, which saw the white half of north London celebrate a 2-0 victory.
Emery will be eager not to lose any more momentum when Arsenal host Burnley on Saturday as he looks to consolidate their top-four hopes going into 2019.
With that in mind, the Spaniard could be tempted to dip into the transfer market over the next few weeks.
However, when asked about potential January signings earlier this week, Emery told the Evening Standard: “I don’t know now, because we don’t have a lot of possibility in January but if we can [we will find] someone to help us.”
Pressed on if he’s been given any funds for the upcoming window, he added: “It is not easy, I don’t believe a lot in this transfer window because it is not a very big possibility with the players.”
Despite lacking the squad depth of title rivals, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Emery was genuinely content with his personnel.
The 47-year-old made five signings in the first transfer window since Arsene Wenger’s departure: Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Matteo Guendouzi and Stephan Lichtsteiner.
In an intriguing interview with beIN Sports, the legendary Frenchman has cast his eye over Emery’s reign with a specific focus on transfer dealings.
“I think Emery is doing an excellent job,” he said, per the Mirror.
“With the recruits he has brought in, it has brought a form of defensive stability and so I think everything is going well.
“The team is in good hands and I always said that. A lot of people thought when I left the club that the team would need to completely rebuild - I never thought that.
“I am very happy that these people have been proven wrong.”
Given the criticism Wenger endured relating to the signings he made later in his tenure, it’s quite big of him to speak so glowingly of the man now in the job he held for 22 years.
His admirable humility has struck a nerve with the Emirates faithful, too.
Irrespective of his final years at Arsenal, Wenger was never likely to be remembered as a villain, and it’s pleasing to see he’s still held in such high esteem.