Theo Walcott's picture adorned the front cover of the "Derby Day!" programme, taking pride of place between Thierry Henry and Tony Adams.
Arsenal's board may never grant Walcott a statue outside the Emirates like such legends but the 23-year-old attacker certainly deserves a new contract for his current work inside the ground.
What this influential performance again showed, diplomatically nudging anyone on the board still to slow to realise, was that Walcott remains important to Arsenal fortunes, that they need to sort out the stalled contract negotiations. The club are interested in England's latest right winger, Wilfried Zaha, with the excited talk within certain parts of the Emirates of an imminent approach to Crystal Palace. Zaha's arrival would either force Walcott out of the club or inside to a more central role, one that he craves.
He is worth keeping. Yesterday (Saturday) highlighted why. What we are seeing is the maturing of a natural talent, the addition of the little grey cells to the flying feet. Of course,it first needs acknowledging that Walcott's contribution was inevitably overshadowed by the elegant touches over short and long distance by Santi Cazorla. It was also a display that must be viewed in the light of Emmanuel Adebayor's early dismissal which allowed Arsenal to pass and move, to speed into space.
Again, it needs placing in context that Walcott's most prominent two games of the season have come against Reading in the Capital One Cup when he launched that famous rescue mission at 4-0 down and also here, against 10 men as tribalism swept across the terraces.
Anyone nitpicking about the opposition need only consider the firestorm of criticism that would have swirled around Arsenal had they lost either.
Walcott stood up to be counted. "If we show that courage and ambition every game we will climb up the table," he told Sky Sports afterwards transferring the praise to all within the triumphant dressing room.
"We showed people how good we are. It will give us tremendous spirit."
He helped stir that spirit. Those turning a neutral's forensic eye on Walcott's 90 minutes will have noted the increased variety of his play, crossing, passing, finishing, even being given responsibility for certain dead-ball situations.
His initial involvement indicated an old failing, being caught offside after five minutes. Blessed with so much pace, Walcott should simply delay his run more, a trick Arsene Wenger successfully encouraged Henry to learn during his stuttering early days at Arsenal. Wenger also taught Henry, who was watching yesterday, to bend his runs more, running along the line, building up speed and then darting through.
Walcott's corners also need work. His first was picked off by Tom Huddlestone, his second and third by Gareth Bale, and his fourth by the excellent Jan Vertonghen. The game finished with Walcott opting for a short corner. If he needs to develop this expertise, the increased effort he has put into his crossing was demonstrated after 23 minutes, lifting in a magnificent ball for Per Mertesacker to head Arsenal level. Interspersed amongst the fans' loud observation that "we've got a big f------ German" were a few fans lauding "Theo, Theo".
They had not forgotten his assist. Walcott also played an indirect part in Arsenal's third, taking the free-kick which eventually led to Cazorla creating Olivier Giroud's goal. In the second half, he increasingly drifted inside to good effect, operating in the central position he covets.
Just before the hour-mark, Walcott stroked a well-judged pass into the box for Lukas Podolski to cross for Cazorla to make it 4-1.
Walcott has frequently requested politely the opportunity to play central. Those of a particularly disparaging persuasion have cast a harsh spotlight on his finishing. He still needs more game-craft, more practice on his shooting. Having accelerated into promising positions, Walcott wasted three attempts on goal before finally scoring.
His first shot just after the hour mark was blocked by the excellent Michael Dawson. His second after 67 minutes was poor, allowing Hugo Lloris to clear. Released by Aaron Ramsey 10 minutes later, Walcott's first touch was slightly laboured and Lloris rushed out to take control.
A doubt briefly returned. Was he ruthless enough? One of the criticisms directed at Walcott is that he is too nice. Such geniality was seen in the tunnel before kick-off as he hugged Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe and smiled at some gentle ribbing by Bale at his Movember moustache.
Yet Walcott persisted and was on hand to score with a low shot after good work by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Revelling in the derby victory, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere were three of the last Arsenal players off the pitch.
Before kick-off, Wenger had written in his programme notes of his pride that so many of his players, also including Carl Jenkinson, were representing England and that it was also "very good for the future of the club".
A camaraderie exists between Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere and Jenkinson which could give Arsenal much-needed defiance in times of need. This is an important quality as Wenger's side remain prone to bouts of nervousness.
An hour after the final whistle, Wenger could be found re-emphasising his hope that player and club find some middle ground. "He is doing very well,'' said Wenger. "I've always said I wanted to keep him. We haven't found an agreement yet but we will continue. He certainly doesn't play like someone who wants to go. I don't behave like someone who wants him to go because I play him.''
Not always. Walcott has had every reason to be frustrated this season at the amount of time he has been left on the bench. He was superb against Reading and then promptly found himself omitted at Old Trafford as Ramsey, a lesser player, started. Wenger indicated the club would pay what they could. "We go always to the maximum we can afford.''
Walcott's worth it.