One Cup final does not a lifetime’s reputation make. Take Tony Barton, winner of the European Cup final with Aston Villa in 1982. Or, for readers of a different vintage, take Roberto Di Matteo, winner of the Champions League and the FA Cup with Chelsea in 2012.
Both shone in their brief moments in the limelight but the former ended up managing Northampton Town, the latter briefly at Aston Villa, in very different times when they were a Championship club. And he did not last long there.
Sometimes you inherit something special, you do your bit in nudging them over the line to achieve greatness and so you deserve plaudits. But time is a brutal arbiter of the great and the good.
Mikel Arteta collected his first trophy as Arsenal boss after just seven months in the job
So we should pause before festooning Mikel Arteta with praise. His career will be judged in years and decades rather than the first few months. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that, when he took over at Arsenal in December, he was not bequeathed a glorious situation which suggested major honours were heading their way.
And there have been times, even in the post-lockdown period, when you wondered just what he had…