Arsenal boss sees his side hit hapless Rams for six
Arsene Wenger feels that Arsenal have rediscovered the form which made them early season pacesetters.
The Gunners made a mockery of the pre-season predictions that their young side would struggle to adapt to the rigours of life in the Premier League as they began the campaign with a 15-match unbeaten run.
They went on to top the table for six months, until a miserable run which brought four draws and a defeat saw their hopes of a first championship in four years slowly ebb away.
Despite now having to accept that they will finish the season empty handed the Gunners made light work of seeing off rock-bottom Derby on Monday, cruising to a 6-2 victory at Pride Park.
Their free-flowing, attacking play was reminiscent of the form they showed at the start of the season, and their manager feels that the lack of pressure now on his players' shoulders is allowing them to express themselves.
"I felt at the start of the season nobody expected us to do well," said the Frenchman.
"We started well and maybe when we came under pressure in March you could see that we did not have the experience to deal with that and I feel we have learned a lot.
"Now that the pressure is gone we are back to our real level and I feel our real level is better than at the start of the season."
A second-half hat-trick from substitute Emmanuel Adebayor saw Arsenal ease past the Rams, while Nicklas Bendtner, Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott were also on target.
Wenger was delighted with the performance, but is adamant that the potential encapsulated within his squad would suggest that they can only get better in the future.
"In the second half when Derby were tiring we could have scored more goals," he added.
"We tried to play well, we had a game based on movement, technique and combination and we nearly respected that 95 per cent of the game, not 100, but there is still room for improvement there."