The Allianz Arena was an unlikely starting point for a club-record run and the wider significance of that victory at Bayern Munich six months ago is not lost on Theo Walcott. It was the first of 10 successive wins on the road and, although Arsenal were eliminated from the Champions League on the night, the 2-0 triumph in Bavaria was a watershed moment. "You go to one of the tough places in Europe and win, you've got to think you are a very good team yourself," Walcott said. "At times [in the past] maybe we didn't believe in ourselves."
Self-doubt has no place in this Arsenal side. Their record in all competitions since 13 March reads: played 18, won 15, drawn two, lost one.
Wednesday night's 2-1 success in Marseille in their opening Champions League group match made it 10 successive wins away from home, a sequence that includes seven consecutive Premier League victories. Broaden the picture and Arsenal have picked up more points in the calendar year than any other Premier League club. Confidence is sky-high.
"We've got players who are playing fantastically well," Walcott said. "There is so much belief in this team at the moment and I think it's showing. We just need to push on and make sure we get that home form going now; the away form is absolutely fantastic.
"Someone told me in the dressing room it's 10 successive wins away from home – it's a record. To be part of a team that has done that, in the amount of years that Arsenal have existed, is a great honour and a great achievement for everyone. It just shows how talented these players are."
While Mesut Özil is unquestionably the star attraction and Aaron Ramsey the man in form, it was interesting to hear Walcott acknowledge the contribution of Mathieu Flamini, who rejoined Arsenal on a free transfer this summer. The Frenchman has added experience and leadership to a team that has recorded six straight wins since losing at home against Aston Villa on the opening day of the season. "Mathieu's a leader, he's bossing people around and that's what we needed," Walcott said.
If Flamini's return to Arsenal was a surprise, Ramsey's transformation has been nothing short of remarkable. Pleased to get off the mark for the season with the opening goal against Marseille, Walcott could never have imagined that he would be trailing in Ramsey's wake when it comes to putting the ball in the net. The Welshman's late goal at Stade Vélodrome took his tally for the season to six in seven matches – not bad for a player who scored five in 91 appearances across the previous two campaigns. "He is incredible at the moment," said Walcott, who was Arsenal's top scorer last season.
Although Arsène Wenger's faith in Ramsey has never wavered, the Arsenal manager admitted he is surprised the Welshman has become so prolific. Ramsey's explanation is that he was getting in decent positions but was not always composed enough to make the most of the chances that he is now converting. Confidence certainly plays a huge part and there is also a view that Wenger is reaping the rewards of being patient with a player who suffered a horrific double leg fracture at Stoke in 2010.
"It always takes time when you have injuries and [Aaron] had one of the worst injuries in football," Walcott said. "He's worked really hard and it's definitely paying off now. He's enjoying his football, he loves touching the ball and he's got something different to his game now which is goals. People would criticise that side [in the past] but I see him in training every day and he's looking a totally different player. He's like a new signing. It's an absolute honour to play with him at the moment."
Arsenal's run of form is made all the more impressive because of their lengthy injury list. Mikel Arteta, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Yaya Sanogo and Abou Diaby are sidelined, prompting Wenger to concede on the eve of the Marseille game that he has concerns about the paucity of his options.
"We haven't got the biggest squad in the world and we've got a lot of injuries, which doesn't help," Walcott said. "We've got to stay fit, which is crucial – we don't want to lose any more players. But as soon as the players come back there is going to be more competition for places and that's only going to be a good thing for Arsenal. I think we'll push on and we can definitely challenge [for trophies] this year, for sure."