It has not escaped Arsène Wenger's attention that the majority of pundits in English football remain disinclined to give much credibility to Arsenal's chances of sustaining a title challenge. Doubts have been expressed over a variety of subjects.
At first it was a lack of squad strength. Then the notion that they had not played challenging opponents. An overreliance on Olivier Giroud, a worry over when Aaron Ramsey stops scoring and the pressure from not being used to winning have all been trotted out.
Wenger sometimes watches Match of the Day but not religiously. More often than not he flicks on Saturday nights, taking in some German and French football too, as his satellite dish is fully loaded with international options, so he is not obsessed by the latest pundit to dismiss Arsenal's chances. "Sometimes I watch it, sometimes not," he says. "On Saturday night there's a lot of football going on, so I juggle a little bit."
He is not averse to taking on board constructive criticism. He is not quite so keen on opinions based on little more than hunches, though. "I take anything from anybody," he says. "I just try to analyse whether he has a point or not. Sometimes it's just someone saying their opinion without an argument. If it's something based on hate or love, or just gut feeling then I just say: 'OK, it's an opinion – he might be right, he might be wrong'.
"Often he doesn't sustain his opinion by some work he has done to support that argument. I have enough experience to analyse what we do and how well we play. I don't need someone else to tell me. I'm not upset by that at all.
"When I arrived here people explained I couldn't win the title as I am foreign. Everybody has their own logic. I just think you win the title through your quality. If we didn't win for eight years it is because we weren't good enough in the important moments of the season. We have a good opportunity to show we are good enough, so let's take it."
Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson, Alan Shearer and Michael Owen are among the analysts who seem to barely tolerate the question of whether Arsenal can hold their nerve and form until May. Jamie Carragher recently wondered whether the barren years since their last success in 2003-04 make people "a little bit scared" of backing Arsenal. Wenger is interested in nothing other than the desire to continue the Premier League leaders' positive run. "When you are in the position we are in every game a little bit is deciding our future," he says. "Hull and Everton are two big home games for us."
He is encouraged by a more positive atmosphere around the Emirates Stadium these days. In tough times during recent seasons the tension could get nasty. "There is certainly more support from the stands than this time last year," Wenger notes. "It will be a massive advantage because when we have a difficult patch during a game our fans feel it and support in response. Last year it was moaning when we had a weak period. You feel that. It gives the players more belief and more desire."
Wenger does not think Hull City will be pushovers on Wednesday night. "They have just beaten Liverpool in a very convincing way," he adds. "They look to play in a very positive way, they have nothing to lose when they come to us. We are lucky at the moment, we get good warnings. We had a good warning before we went to Cardiff [when they pegged back Manchester United] and we have another good warning from Hull's performance against Liverpool."