Sheffield Wednesday's Jaden Brown proves his value at both ends as Owls celebrate magical 21 games unbeaten
For it was the Gunners in the Nineties, with the like of Tony Adams, Paul Merson and Ian Wright in their ranks, who would celebrate their ability to eke out narrow 1-0 wins.
Fast forward 30 years and this current Sheffield Wednesday side are doing their very best to emulate the Gunners.
Saturday’s 1-0 win over Peterborough - which extended the Owls’ five-month unbeaten league run to 21 games - was the tenth time this season that Darren Moore’s side have triumphed by that scoreline.
Throw in the fact that Wednesday have kept a record-breaking 20 clean sheets from 33 games played this season, and you can clearly see why the Owls are leading the way in League One.
To call them a well-oiled, efficient machine is not a criticism - for they possess flair footballers of the ilk of Barry Bannan and Josh Windass who should not be playing in the third tier of English football.
It is praise for a team who have learned to win games in all manner of ways.
Saturday was a prime example. Posh frustrated the league leaders, Bannan and Aden Flint even picked up first-half bookings, with the game littered with free-kicks and stoppages.
But up popped left wing-back Jaden Brown on the hour-mark - the recipient of a superb through-ball from Bannan - to drill home the decisive goal, with the help of a deflection off Posh defender Nathan Thompson.
The fact that Wednesday defended so well, that free-scoring Posh were denied one single shot on target - not even a corner - all afternoon, meant one goal was sufficient to secure another three points to their tally.
The hosts’ defensive resolve was never better illustrated just moments after Brown’s ‘goal’.
United’s Kwame Poku sprinted clear, one-on-one with Owls goalkeeper Cameron Dawson. But despite giving the Posh attacker at least five yards start, Brown - drafted in as cover for the suspended Marvin Johnson - raced back for a goal-saving tackle.
“It’s as good as a goal for me that,” said Flint. “It got us the three points there. He obviously scores the goal, and then at the opposite end he has done his actual job and defended.
“It’s brilliant for him because he has come into the team and done really well.”
Brown - who provided the assist for Liam Palmer’s winning goal at Charlton Athletic last weekend - has certainly impressed in Johnson’s absence.
“Everyone wants to play football and it’s difficult when you’re not,” said fellow defender Flint. “You have to have the mentality to always be switched on and ready to go when you are called upon. He has done that.
“He came in last week against Charlton and got the assist (for the winner), today he got a goal and we got the win - and a match-saving tackle for the three points.”
Moore added: “Jaden did ever so well to not only get back but just get his foot in at that crucial point to spoil the chance.
“I’m really pleased for Jaden, he’s come back into the frame, he got the assist at Charlton and he’s got the winning goal today. It’s taken a little nick but Jaden is claiming it and rightly so, I’d be doing the same, it looked like it was going in anyway.“He’s had a real influence at both ends of the pitch today.”
Wednesday’s best chance to open the scoring in the first-half came from a corner routine straight from their Middlewood Road training ground.
Bannan’s low driven cross to the edge of the box, allowed Windass to escape the crowd of defenders to run away from goal, before turning and smashing his shot against the crossbar.
But the hosts upped the intensity after the break, and Posh goalkeeper Will Norris twice came to his side’s rescue to save from Flint’s header, before grasping Windass’ close-range effort.
Then came Brown’s double drama - at both ends of the pitch.
“It was a big three points,” said Flint. “We go into each game, not knowing we are going to win, but confident going into it.
“We just have to deal with the teams in front of us, one game at a time, not get ahead of ourselves and carry on the form until the end of the season.”
Sheffield Wednesday: Dawson, Iorfa, Flint, Famewo, Palmer (Adeniran 90), Byers, Vaulks, Bannan, Brown (Hunt 78), Smith (Gregory 69), Windass. Unused substitutes: Bakinson, Shipston, Alimi-Adetoro, Charles.
Peterborough United: Norris, N Thompson, Kent, Edwards, Ogbeta (Jade-Jones 86), Norburn (Kyprianou 82), Taylor, Poku (Ward 68), Burrows (Tshimanga 82), Mason-Clarke, Clarke-Harris. Unused substitutes: Fernandez, B Thompson, Blackmore.
Referee: Anthony Backhouse (Cumbria).