If you’d told Arsenal fans their defensive back three in the FA Cup final would feature Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal, they’d have had a mini seizure.
On paper that trio hardly suggests structure or pace with Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel all missing through injury or suspension.
But they’ve been made to eat their words – particularly by their club captain.
Mertesacker has made just one appearance all season – on the last day of the Premier League campaign against Everton – and his match fitness was under severe scrutiny as a result.
But the big German marshalled his charges magnificently against a vibrant Chelsea attack who had wrapped up the title just weeks before.
Mertesacker made a number of timely interceptions and kept the indomitable Diego Costa generally very quiet as the Gunners stunned the Champions to win a pulsating final 2-1.
And his performance didn’t go unnoticed on social media as people recognised the shift he was producing: