Mikel Arteta is making believers out of Arsenal doubters, while his predecessor Unai Emery looks ready to settle unfinished business in the Premier League.
It was a good day for Gunners managers past and present as Arsenal moved back to the top of the table with a 1-0 win against Chelsea on Sunday and Aston Villa stunned Manchester United 3-1 in Emery's first game in charge.
The win at Villa Park saw Emery taste triumph -- at the first opportunity -- with his new club, something the Spaniard hadn't achieved in his last seven games with Arsenal, a run that eventually sealed his fate at the Emirates.
Now, Emery has returned to England three years later to see his former team transformed.
Arsenal's win was an important statement of their title credentials. Victory in the final round of games before the World Cup will ensure they're top of the table for Christmas, with the domestic calendar resuming on Boxing Day.
When Gabriel pounced after 63 minutes at Stamford Bridge it strengthened the growing belief that Arsenal can maintain a genuine challenge.
Arsenal fans have experienced many false dawns of late, but a run of 11 wins from 13 games at the start of the season has set a pace that even champions Manchester City, two points behind, cannot match.
Not that Arteta is ready to publicly declare his team is in contention for the title.
"Just look at the last six years, what Manchester City have done," he said. "With the best manager in the world (his old mentor Pep Guardiola), the best team in the world.
"They have shown it consistently in every single competition. We have to be very, very respectful of that."
Emery will hope to earn the respect that didn't always come his way when he was in charge at Arsenal.
A manager with nine major trophies to his name lasted just 18 months at the Emirates Stadium and was largely dismissed as a failure.
But the rehabilitation of his reputation in England could not have got off to a better start, with Villa 2-0 up against United within 11 minutes.
"I think we made the first step today," Emery said afterwards. "I am a privileged man to be here and to win against them."
But United manager Erik ten Hag was left criticising his own players after a third away league defeat of the season.
"You have to read the game and get right the organisation. Not concede two early goals -- that's totally unnecessary."
Elsewhere, Mohamed Salah made it nine goals in his last eight games in all competitions to secure Liverpool's first away win in the league this season.
The Egyptian struck twice in the first half to set up Liverpool's 2-1 win against Tottenham, with Harry Kane scoring for the hosts.
"It's obviously long ago that we won an away game in the Premier League, so I don't really know how to feel in this moment. But it was relief after the final whistle," said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
It's now six wins from seven games for third-place Newcastle after beating Southampton 4-1, but manager Eddie Howe still wasn't satisfied.
"The overall performance was below where it has been," Howe said, despite Miguel Almiron, Chris Wood, Joe Willock and Bruno Guimaraes all scoring for his team.
West Ham manager David Moyes felt his team had gifted Crystal Palace a 2-1 win in the day's other top-flight game.