Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink insists Arsenal’s true level of progress would be evident in their performance against Liverpool in midweek.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink remains unconvinced by Arsenal’s mettle despite Mikel Arteta’s side being one of the most in-form teams in Europe’s top five leagues currently. The Gunners have won nine of their last 11 Premier League fixtures, and they sit in fourth place in the Premier League table.
The win over Leicester City at the Emirates on Sunday was their fifth in a row, as Arteta’s men have become the favourites to finish fourth. Their current form heavily contrasts their performances early in the season when they lost three without scoring while conceding nine goals in the process.
Arteta’s men, being the bottom of the table back then, have risen to become top-four contenders. In the process, they have left Manchester United, Tottenham and West Ham United behind, despite those teams being early favourites to finish above the Gunners. Their current form has also convinced Arsenal to offer Arteta a new deal in the coming weeks.
However, some have pointed out that their recent success was based on defeating weaker teams. Sure enough, Arsenal faced sides far down their position in the standings, with Wolves being the only team that were close to them.
And former Chelsea star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has now insisted the north Londoners’ true character will be visible when they face Liverpool in a crucial midweek fixture. His comments appeared in the Mirror, where the pundit insisted their performance against the Reds would determine Arsenal’s true progress under Arteta.
Hasselbaink said, “That match on Wednesday, will show how far they have come against the big sides. At the beginning of the season, there was a big gap. Now, we get to see how far they have come and that is their next thing, can they do it against the big teams as well.”
There’s some truth in the pundit’s words, as Arsenal have been miserable against teams above them on the table. So far, Arteta’s team have played four games against Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea combined, conceding 13 goals and scoring just once.
The Liverpool clash will certainly be the litmus test many have waited for Arteta to pass. While Hasselbaink’s words have weightage, Arsenal have been performing consistently since December and might produce a good performance against the Reds, similar to what they did against Manchester City at the Emirates.