UNITIED KINGDOM - For a man who was thought to be entering his final season at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger is proving surprisingly resilient.
A thunderous start to the campaign has put the Gunners into contention for honours at home and abroad and, according to France Football, it has proved the basis for a new three-year contract for the manager.
Whether that is true or not remains to be seen, but the fact that the story has not been immediately laughed off as it would have been this time last season is proof of how far Arsenal have progressed this year.
The Gunners can secure a place in the next stage of the Champions League in Naples tomorrow morning (Singapore time), but only if they maintain the composure that has seen them enjoy such a strong start to the season.
The Gunners need just a point to be certain of qualification to the last 16. That would be enough for Napoli too, but only if Borussia Dortmund lose to Marseille, the whipping boys of the group.
That seems rather unlikely, even with the German side's awful injury problems. For Napoli to guarantee progression, regardless of Dortmund's efforts, they must win by three clear goals. That seems even more unlikely.
Napoli, having started so well under new manager Rafael Benitez, have hit something of a sticky patch as winter sets in.
Having reached mid-October without losing in the league, they have lost two more and have won only once in their last five games in all competitions.